High prevalance, limited awareness of hypertension in Assam: Experts
Experts release a book during the workshop.

Guwahati: About 25% of Indian adults suffer from hypertension, with similar rates seen in Assam. Hypertension is widespread in Assam, particularly in rural areas where awareness remains low.

These findings emerged from a daylong workshop on the rising burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and the prevention and care of hypertension, organised by the Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum (CLPF) with the support of Consumer VOICE, New Delhi, held here on Wednesday.

A resource person speaks at the workshop in Guwahati on Wednesday.

In his inaugural speech, Nakul Shyam, additional director of health services in Assam, emphasised the importance of screening in identifying hypertensive cases, especially in rural areas.

“It is important to strengthen the screening process and include ASHA workers and healthcare workers proactively,” he said.

Attending the workshop as a resource person, Dr. Rahul K. Sharma discussed NCD control in Assam, while Dr. Mousumi Krishnatreya covered treatment adherence. Dr. Jitumoni Kalita spoke about hypertension management’s role in reducing strokes and heart attacks, and Dr. Hrisikesh Sarma talked about primary healthcare centres’ role in NCD prevention.

All experts emphasised early detection, treatment of hypertension, and lifestyle changes. According to them, “most Indians are not aware that they are suffering from hypertension. This leads to increased cases of stroke and cardiac arrest. This is the reason why not only elderly, but also young men and women are falling prey to various heart ailments.”

Moderating the workshop, Advocate Ajoy Hazarika, secretary of Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum, shared data from National Family Health Survey-5, revealing rural women’s hypertension prevalence at 20.2% and men at 22.7%. In Assam, 19% of women and 20% of men aged 15-49 have hypertension.

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Nilanjana Bose from Consumer VOICE cited WHO statistics, stating that cardiovascular diseases cause about 27% of deaths in India, affecting 45% of people aged 40-69, with high blood pressure being a major risk factor due to low awareness, insufficient primary care, and poor follow-up.

The workshop drew 100+ participants, including senior citizens, women’s groups, consumer advocates, health officials, students, media, and social activists.

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