Thursday, August 29, 2019

21.7% People in state have Masked Hypertension: IHS


PUNE: Findings of India Heart Study (I.H.S) show that 19.1% of the respondents from Maharashtra (excluding Mumbai) were white-coat hypertensive while 21.7% were found to have masked hypertension thereby putting almost 41% people at the risk of misdiagnosis (in case of white-coat hypertension) and ‘missed’ diagnosis (in case of masked hypertension). There were 2026 participants from the state with 1288 males and 738 females.

Masked hypertension is a phenomenon when an individual’s blood pressure reading is normal at the doctor's office but high at home; white-coat hypertension is defined as a condition in which people exhibit a blood pressure level above the normal range in a clinical setting only. White-coat hypertensive who are misdiagnosed and put on anti-hypertension drugs have to take unnecessary medication. On the other hand, a masked hypertensive may go undiagnosed running the risk of complications of the heart, the kidneys, and the brain, leading to premature mortality.

India Heart Study findings highlight a high prevalence of masked hypertension and white-coat hypertension in Indians at 42% on first office visit (doctor’s clinic). It was also found that Indians have an average resting heart rate of 80 beats per minute, higher than the desired rate of 72 beats per minute. Another striking finding of the study is that unlike other countries, Indians have higher blood pressure in the evenings than in mornings which should guide doctors to rethink the timing of advising anti-hypertension drug dosage. 

Dr. Upendra Kaul, Cardiologist, Chairman and Dean Academics and Research of Batra Hospital & Medical Research Centre, who was the Principal Investigator of I.H.S, said “India Heart Study points to a need for better clinical management of hypertension in India. This is India-specific data and should help shape the best practices for the diagnosis of high blood pressure among Indians. The study presents exhaustive data on the various aspects of hypertension.”

Eris Lifesciences commissioned the India Heart Study that was conducted under the aegis of Batra Hospital & Medical Research Centre.  Dr. Viraj Suvarna, President – Medical, Eris Lifesciences said, “Masked Hypertension, if undetected, is a dangerous phenomenon. It is important to monitor one’s blood pressure, beyond the clinic, even at home, according to prescribed guidelines. Accurate diagnosis of hypertension is an important element of our fight against this disease and improving health outcomes.”

Dr J S Hiremath, Cardiologist, Ruby Hall Clinic, and a co-ordinator for I.H.S, said, “A high resting heart rate combined with uncontrolled blood pressure, damage the target organs like the heart and the kidneys. This can have serious consequences in the long term. As a precaution, individuals should monitor their blood pressure at home regularly and speak to their doctors to understand ways to control it.”

According to Dr Tushar Dighe, Nephrologist, Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, “Besides cardio-vascular complications, high blood pressure affects the kidneys in a major way. Healthy kidneys are critical for a normal functioning of our bodies. To start with, people should make healthier lifestyle choices and have their blood pressure checked on a regular basis to avoid any major complications. India Heart Study has provided us with some insightful data on the prevalence of hypertension in Maharashtra that will guide us in many ways going forward.”

What sets this study apart is that it was conducted on ‘drug-naive’ set (people not on any anti-hypertension drug) of participants using a comprehensive process of taking blood pressure readings. The investigators examined the blood pressure of 18,918 participants (male and female) through 1233 doctors across 15 states over a period of nine months. The participants’ blood pressure was monitored at home four times in a day for 7 consecutive days.


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