19% People Above 15 Years In J&K Suffering From Hypertension


Srinagar- Hypertension has assumed an epidemic proportion in Jammu and Kashmir as 19 percent of the population above 15 years are suffering from high blood pressure and taking medicines to control it.

The latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS) has revealed alarming statistics on hypertension prevalence in the erstwhile state as 19 percent of the “over 15 years” of population in J&K has elevated blood pressure and is taking medicine to control it with more women suffering from elevated blood pressure than men.

As per NFHS, elevated hypertension among women in J&K was recorded at 20 percent and 18.9 percent for men, while the national average settled at 21.3 percent and 24 percent, respectively. Notably, several of J&K’s nutritional indicators have worsened since the fourth round of the NFHS, which was held in 2015-16.

The data in NFHS 2019-20, the fifth in the series, show that among both the genders the mildly elevated blood pressure(Systolic 140-159 mm of Hg and/or Diastolic 90-99 mm of Hg) was higher among men(12.3 percent) compared to women(11.7 percent).

“For women, the percentage was higher in rural areas (11.8) than urban areas (11.4) while for men, the rate was higher in urban J&K(12.50 than rural areas(12.2),” the report reads.

The worst figures for “Moderately or severely elevated blood pressure (Systolic ≥160 mm of Hg and/or Diastolic ≥100 mm of Hg)” was recorded among women with a worrying percentage of 3.0 percent than 2.8 percent among men. In the same category, the ratio among rural women was higher than urban women. “For men, the ratio was higher in urban areas (2.8 percent than rural areas (2.7 percent).

Notably, High blood pressure or commonly known as hypertension is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against the artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.

The findings of the latest National Family Health Survey 2019-21 (NFHS-5), fifth in the series of such surveys commissioned by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, had earlier revealed that people in J&K have become more obese and prone to diabetes when compared to the data from NFHS 2015-16 (NFHS-4).

Due to the Covid-19, the survey fieldwork for NFHS-5 was conducted in two phases in J&K. Phase one was from June 2019-january 2020 and phase two was from January 2020 to April 2021 and the Information was gathered from 18,086 households, 23,037 women, and 3,087 men.

Since the second and the longer phase of the NFHS-5 was conducted amid the pandemic, the survey findings also capture the impact of the pandemic and the lockdowns on the key health parameters of the population in J&K.

On December 12, the government released the fifth part of National Family Health Survey fact-sheets for India including J&K. Among the indicators, several included indicators are of great importance to J&K in terms of female health. This also included those indicators that are relevant to the Sustainable Development Goal of gender equality (SDG-5) in J&K.

Among the indicators released for the erstwhile state of J&K, several were based on education, educational freedom, economic contribution, economic freedom, household management and decision-making, perceived status within the household, and health that have always maintained an influence on the status of women in J&K.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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