Half of Indians unaware of their hypertension status and have not received a diagnosis

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

The condition is a silent killer and damages other organs over time

New Delhi, 14th May 2019: According to a recent study, only 3 out of 4 individuals in India with hypertension have ever had their blood pressure measured. Only about 45% had been diagnosed, and only 8% of those surveyed had their blood pressure under control. More than half the number of Indians aged 15 to 49 years with hypertension were not aware of their hypertension status. The awareness level was lowest in Chhattisgarh (22.1%) and highest in Puducherry (80.5%).[1]

Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death in India. It is defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140/90 mmHg. Hypertension generally doesn’t cause any outward signs or symptoms but silently damages blood vessels, and other organs. There is a need to create awareness about the fact that hypertension is not a disease but a sign that something is wrong in the body.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “The prevalence of hypertension in Indian adults has shown a drastic increase in the past three decades in urban as well as rural areas. It is important to get an annual checkup done after the age of 30 even if you have no family history of hypertension, are not diabetic or don’t have any other lifestyle-related disorder. For those in the high-risk category, a checkup is advised every month. Hypertension can be prevented provided a person makes necessary lifestyle changes right at the outset. It is also imperative to spread the message of prevention and encourage people across various age groups to check their blood pressure at regular intervals.”

Some signs and symptoms of hypertension include dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, and sometimes chest pain, palpitations, and nosebleeds.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “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. Some people need medication and may need to take one or more pills a day, which can be a costly hassle.”

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

[1] Research published in PLOS Medicine, and carried out by researchers at the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health, the University of Birmingham and the University of Gottingen.

Sex Determination Tests: Foeticide Next To Genocide

Health Care Comments Off

Reproduced from: http://www.indialegallive.com/constitutional-law-news/supreme-court-news/sex-determination-tests-foeticide-next-to-genocide-65336, published May 11, 2019

Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of the Prohibition of Sex Selection Act,1994, throwing out the petitioner-doctors’ plea that it was not being implemented practically

By Dr KK Aggarwal

Nothing can be a more sinister, immoral and anti-social act than allowing female foeticide.” With those words, a Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Vineet Saran brought the curtains down on a two-year-old case that challenged the constitutionality of Sections 23(1) and 23(2) of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection Act), 1994. The petitioner, Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), had contended that the Act was not being implemented practically.

They submitted that they were being charged with female foeticide on the basis of certain clerical mistakes in Form F. The ambiguous wording of the Act is such that the petitioners are liable to be charged with the heinous crime of female foeticide and sex determination and that the members have undergone criminal prosecution, they claimed.

Section 23(2) empowers the state medical council to suspend the registration of any doctor indefinitely who is reported by the appropriate authority for necessary action. The petitioners contended that this provision is ultra vires the Constitution as it assumes the guilt of the doctor even before any trial by a competent court. It further contended that the Act fails to distinguish between the absence of intention and minor clerical errors. The Form F does not fulfil the objective of what it was enacted for and any minor clerical mistake in Form F may result in conviction of the doctor.

The Union of India, on the other hand, contended that the petitioner was trying to mislead the Court in the garb of a social cause and that a criminal activity cannot be declared to be ultra vires the Constitution. The Union submitted that the intention while enacting this Act was to uphold the rights of women and children and to abolish the practice of pre-natal tests for gender determination of the foetus, which subsequently leads to female foeticide in a majority of the cases. It was contended by the government that the male-female ratio of the country is not equal and thus the centre is duty-bound to protect the welfare of children. Pinky Anand, addi­tional solicitor general, also contended that there is an alarming decline in the child sex ratio in the country. In several districts of the country, the ratio is less than 800 girls for 1,000 boys.

The medical fraternity counters this, saying that in India, where a single person does several ultrasounds a day, clerical errors in Form F are a reality. “It is difficult to understand why these matters go to the apex court for solution when in the current parliament itself there are over 30 doctors. Why can’t they sit with medical professionals and come out with laws which are both doctor- and patient-friendly. Interference by the courts only means a discordance between the parliament and the profession,” said a doctor who did not want to be named. As for the need to arrest the declining sex ratio, the feeling in the community was that it has to be a movement by the medical profession and not the regulators.

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania   (CMAAO)

Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Past National President IMA