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Int J Med Sci 2005; 2(2):70-78. doi:10.7150/ijms.2.70

Research Paper

Study of urban community survey in India: growing trend of high prevalence of hypertension in a developing country

Shyamal Kumar Das1, Kalyan Sanyal2, Arindam Basu3

1 Dept Of Neuromedicine, Bangur Institute Of Neurology, Kolkata, India.
2 Malda District Hospital, Malda, India.
3 Fogarty Training Program, IPGMER, Kolkata, India.

Abstract

The prevalence pattern of hypertension in developing countries is different from that in the developed countries. In India, a very large, populous and typical developing country, community surveys have documented that between three and six decades, prevalence of hypertension has increased by about 30 times among urban dwellers and by about 10 times among the rural inhabitants. Various factors might have contributed to this rising trend and among others, consequences of urbanization such as change in life style pattern, diet and stress, increased population and shrinking employment have been implicated. In this paper, we study the prevalence of hypertension in an urban community of India using the JNC VII criteria, with the aim of identifying the risk factors and suggesting intervention strategies. A total of 1609 respondents out of 1662 individuals participated in our cross-sectional survey of validated and structured questionnaire followed by blood pressure measurement. Results showed pre-hypertensive levels of blood pressures among 35.8% of the participants in systolic group (120-139mm of Hg) and 47.7% in diastolic group (80-89 mm of Hg). Systolic hypertension (140 mm of Hg) was present in 40.9% and diastolic hypertension (90 mm of Hg) in 29.3% of the participants. Age and sex-specific prevalence of hypertension showed progressive rise of systolic and diastolic hypertension in women when compared to men. Men showed progressive rise in systolic hypertension beyond fifth decade of life. Bivariate analysis showed significant relationship of hypertension with age, sedentary occupation, body mass index (BMI), diet, ischemic heart disease, and smoking. Multivariate analysis revealed age and BMI as risk factors, and non-vegetarian diet as protective factor with respect to hypertension. Prevalence of prehypertensives was high among younger subjects - particularly students and laborers who need special attention. Role of non-vegetarian diet as a protective factor might have been related to fish-eating behavior of the sample population, who also use mustard oil as cooking medium - both of which have significant level of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids. The observed prevalence of hypertension in this study and other studies suggest the need for a comprehensive national policy to control hypertension in India, and, in other similar developing countries.

Keywords: Hypertension, eastern India, urban study, JNC-VII criteria, prehypertensives, non-vegetarian diet, developing countries

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How to cite this article:
Das SK, Sanyal K, Basu A. Study of urban community survey in India: growing trend of high prevalence of hypertension in a developing country. Int J Med Sci 2005; 2(2):70-78. doi:10.7150/ijms.2.70. Available from http://www.medsci.org/v02p0070.htm