NEW DELHI, May 10 (Xinhua) -- One in every eight Indian above 30 years of age is suffering from high blood pressure, a government study has revealed.
The Indian Health Ministry study has based its findings on a screening of 22.5 million adults across 100 districts in India in the past year.
The survey comes barely a week ahead of the World Hypertension Day on May 17.
Though international standards define high blood pressure as a reading of more 130/90 mmHg, the Indian Health Ministry survey reportedly considered 140/90 mmHg as the threshold for the study among the people screened.
Interestingly, hypertension has also been found in people living in rural areas where such a lifestyle condition was earlier hardly available.
Doctors say high blood pressure is one of the biggest health risks the global population face today.
"High blood pressure can cause countless problems like diabetes, stroke, heart disease, kidney failure. So, it's better to keep it under control by adhering to lifestyle changes," Nayani Mathur, a Delhi-based general physician, said Thursday.
"Moreover, it's a matter of concern that even people in rural areas are increasingly getting hypertension. Earlier, life in rural India was said to be healthy and lengthy," she added.
According to doctors, hypertension is an unusual condition which has almost no symptoms, and the only way to catch it is to get one's blood pressure checked regularly and adhering to healthy eating habits and other lifestyle changes.
"Eating less salt, doing regular exercises to cut the flab and having a healthy food habit are some of the changes that can be done to keep blood pressure under control. Also it's key to avoid snacking and binge drinking," said Rabin Rai, another Delhi-based physician.
"Most important way to keep blood pressure under control is to quit smoking and not remain stressed all the time. Blood pressure is the key to a number of organs. Also don't forget to take your daily medication as prescribed by doctors," he added.
Doctors say that even children are getting high blood pressure.
"This is because of too much competition and less play. Today's children spend more time indoors than outdoors. When they are not studying, they are either on mobile phones or watching TV. Kids need to be active to stay fit," said Mathur.
In 2016, a British study has found that India is home to about 200 million adults with high blood pressure. The study, led by scientists at Imperial College London, was published in the Lancet journal.