Number of people with hypertension in India shows significant increase in the last one year

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A majority with the condition are unaware of it

New Delhi, 10 May 2018: According to a preventive health programme conducted by a union health ministry, around 1 of every 8 people in India have high blood pressure. The results were drawn after screening about 22.5 million adults across 100 districts in India in 2017. The figures have increased significantly from the 1 in every 11 indicated by the National Family Health Survey in 2015/16. This indicates an urgent need for people to change their current lifestyles for achieving better health outcomes.

What is alarming is the fact that the screened population belongs to the rural pockets of India, where hypertension has so far not been reported as a significant health concern. The health ministry programme defines high blood pressure as a reading of more 140/90 mmHg; globally, even a reading of 130 is considered high blood pressure.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Many people with hypertension are not aware of the condition and therefore, the risk of associated long-term health complications such as heart disease. Treatment without a proper and timely screening cannot serve any purpose. In the absence of proper lifestyle changes, people can even become dependent on medication for life. High blood pressure imposes an up-front burden in people who know they have it and who are working to control it. It adds to worries about health. It alters what you eat and how active you are, since a low-sodium diet and exercise are important ways to help keep blood pressure in check.”

Perhaps because of all the ways hypertension interferes with health, the average life span for people with it is five years shorter than it is for those with normal blood pressure.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Vice President of CMAAO, said, “High blood pressure is not a disease but a sign that something is wrong in the body. In some people with hypertension, the culprit is a narrowing of the arteries supplying the kidneys (renal artery stenosis), or an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) or adrenal glands (aldosteronism). When these are treated, blood pressure drops back to normal. More often, though, doctors find no underlying cause for high blood pressure. This condition is called essential hypertension.”

Some tips from HCFI.

Achieve and maintain a healthy weight for your height.
Exercise regularly.
Eat a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Limit sodium intake to under 2,300 milligrams a day (one teaspoon of salt), and get plenty of potassium (at least 4,700 mg per day) from fruits and vegetables.
Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
Reduce stress.
Monitor your blood pressure regularly, and work with your doctor to keep it in a healthy range.

When wealth can become injurious to health

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Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha are the four basic purposes of life. It means earning righteously with a desire to fulfill the inner happiness. The word ‘Artha’ relates to righteous earning. Any unrighteous earning can put one into danger.

There are enough references in modern medicine describing “property disputes” as one of the main causes responsible for heart blockages. The other being “marital disharmony”.

Many Vedic texts also give reference to the meaning of ‘Artha’. As per Vedic philosophy desire only begets desire. The desire of accumulating wealth is dangerous and infectious.

As per Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, any wealth acquired more than one needs cannot make one sleep properly.

Vidur in Vidur Niti in a dialogue with King Dhritrashtra described five basic reasons for not getting sleep. Two of them being “if one has stolen somebody’s money” and “if one has lost all his or her wealth”.

Chanakya Niti mentions that any wealth acquired by unfair means will not last for more than eight years.

Adi Shankracharya in his book Bhaj Govindam, Shloka 6 warns the rich community to beware of even their own sons. He mentions, “One should regard wealth always as danger as there is not even an atom of happiness to be really derived from it. To the rich there is a fear even from their own sons. This is an established law everywhere.”

Jesus in Bible also said that the rich lacking contentment can never reach the heaven.

Every wealth one acquired should be treated as a property of the trust of whose one is the trustee and this trust should be only for the welfare of the society, said Dr. Karan Singh in one of his lectures.

Sathya Sai Baba said that wealth is like a shoe. If it is small, it brings difficulty, if it is big, then also it makes one uncomfortable.

In Bhagavad Gītā, Lord Krishna said that those who cook for the sake of their body alone, eat only sins.

Wealth is the womb of all other types of vices, said Rishi Narad in Shrimad Bhagwad. He said that along with wealth come vices like gambling, drinking and sexual perversions.

Taittiriya Upanishad also said that food will eat up the eater who eats without sharing. The Upanishad talks about importance of sharing the food with others.

Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gītā said that whatever elders do, others follow the same. If one acquired money out of unfair means, it is likely that the next generation will follow the same.

Wealth should be treated as a flow of money in the universe, said Dr. Deepak Chopra. Your purpose should be only to make sure that this flow not gets diverted through your river.

Accumulating money serves no purpose unless one uses it properly for the purpose it was collected. I recall an example of a lady who let her son die for financial constraints. When asked if she had any ancestral belongings, she said she only had some gold lying in her house but that was only to be used for bad time.

Isha Upanishad also starts with the same message.

IshAvAsyaM idaM sarvaM yatki~jcha jagatyAM jagat |

tena tyaktena bhu~jjIthA mA gRudhaH kasyasviddhanam || 1 ||

All these, that are part of this world, are abodes of God. Leaving them and thus protecting (yourself).

Do not desire the wealth of anyone!

In Jainism, the term Aparigraha also says that one should not keep anything more than what is necessary.

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri AwardeeVice President CMAAOGroup Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Immediate Past National President IMA