ANI Photo | Rise in hypertension among children, adults is a concern, warns AIIMS expert

Children and adults diagnosed with high blood pressure have double the risk of major cardiovascular problems. It slowly damages almost all the vital organs including the heart, kidneys, eyes, and the brain. Its manifestations are usually seen in adults when they present with end-organ damage.
At a growing age, children are getting hypertension which is between 15-20 per cent. “It’s alarming, warned an expert from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi on Friday.
Speaking to ANI, Dr Sumit Malhotra, Professor, Centre for Community Medicine at AIIMS said, “Surveys, which are being done in different parts of the country, who have looked into the hypertension levels, we have actually found out that 15 to 20 per cent of the children and adolescents has high blood pressure and the rising figures are being consistently seen.”
In children, hypertension is not as common as in adults; however, a globally increasing number of children are being diagnosed with hypertension.
“Adolescents are not having a very good lifestyle in terms of physical activity, consumption of fruits and vegetables, also tobacco consumption. So all of this actually is indicative of a rise in hypertension,” he said further.
Nowadays, with the increasing prevalence of obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and drug abuse in teenagers, the prevalence of primary hypertension in children is also increasing.
Approximately 22 crore adults are estimated to have high blood pressure (BP) in India. There are gaps in its diagnosis, treatment, and control status, owing to a lack of awareness.
Every Year, 17 May is observed as World Hypertension Day, and the whole month is dedicated to raising awareness about hypertension.
The Union Health Ministry launched an ambitious 75/25 initiative of screening and putting 75 million people with hypertension and diabetes on Standard Care by 2025.
To raise awareness among the general public, about hypertension, the public lecture and panel discussion, involving experts from diverse domains, was organized today on May 24.
The event covered topics – measurement of BP, home monitoring, prevention, treatment and control, stress management, tobacco cessation, and complications.
Several events were organized to raise awareness about screening for high BP including involvement and engagement of educational institutions like schools to tackle the rising burden of BP among young people.
“So the preventive measure is to have a healthy lifestyle – healthy eating, having fruits and vegetables in the diet is very important, physical activity in a day, minimum 30 to 60 minutes, 45 minutes and it could also be done in breaks. Children should be encouraged to engage in outdoor activities, there’s a high screen time which is increasing and we need to combat this with healthy options. We need to teach our younger ones, how to cope with stress, because it’s bound to rise but what is important is how to deal with stress and how to be resilient, how to cope with it positively and how to not get affected by it. It’s very important,” explained Dr Sumit for a healthy lifestyle and staying away from hypertension that can lead even heart attacks among the young population.
Early referral to specialists with expertise in specific areas is also known to prevent future complications.
Speaking with ANI, Dr Sumit Malhotra said, “Currently, efforts are more on screening activities. We still have to go a long way in terms of achieving coverage for treatment. The first step is to get screening done. “Getting your measurements like blood pressure checked regularly is important. Every year, at least one measurement check is important after 30 years of age and above. This can help in preventing and mitigating the young onset of fatal events.” (ANI)

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