NEW DELHI: One-third of Indians are suffering from hypertension, of whom 60 per cent are not even aware that they have high blood pressure, a survey by Cardiological Society of India (CSI) has claimed.
In the near future, experts say, such level of unawareness among people about risk factors of heart diseases could lead to a "colossal rise" of the disease burden.
CSI President H K Chopra expressed his concern over the "steeply rising trend" of hypertension among Indians in the last two decades.
"It is a red alert to the nation and people should take preventive measures to take stock of the situation. CSI will initiate coordinated efforts to curb this menace," he said.
The survey, conducted to map the prevalence of high BP and the level of awareness about heart diseases and its risk factors, also revealed that a whopping 42 per cent of the population suffer from uncontrolled hypertension despite medication.
"The survey presents a disturbing picture in terms of awareness level of people for the risk factors of heart diseases. Moreover, the recognition of huge population with uncontrolled hypertension despite medications, is a serious concern as a poorly-controlled hypertension is equally detrimental to stroke, heart failure, and premature heart attacks. It is important that all people get their BP checked periodically," said Dr Ashok Seth, organising chairman, CSI Cardiac Prevent 2015.
The survey covered 1.8 lakh people and was conducted on September 21 across 24 states of India.
"Of all the hypertensives in the study, more than two thirds are younger than 60 years of age. Hypertension among Indians should not be considered a disease of the older people," said Dr Shiv Kumar J, Chief Cardiologist, Apollo Hospital, Hyderabad.