Hyderabad: The Telangana state has the second highest rate of high blood pressure in the country, with 39 per cent men and 29 per cent women are found to suffer from hypertension, according to the National Institute of Nutrition.

The National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau of the NIN states that the prevalence of high blood pressure in the state is 45 per cent. Over 14 crore people in India suffer from hypertension, and the numbers are expected to go up to 21.4 crore in the decade.

Dr C.
Venkata S. Ram, director at Apollo Institute for Blood Pressure Management, said, blood pressure manifests differently in different people. “In some it is found that the blood pressure goes up only in the doctor’s office, hospital or during stressful and tense times at the office. This is called white coat hypertension,” he said.

Dr Ram said that in others, it has been found that in clinics and hospitals the blood pressure is normal but high at home or work. This is called reverse or masked hypertension.

To diagnose these abnormal conditions multiple readings of blood pressure at different times for a period of 10 to 15 days have to be taken. “Only then can it be concluded whether the person requires medication or lifestyle modification will help in controlling the blood pressure.”

There is a need to check blood pressure at different times because of the number of people aged below 40 years suffering from the disease. To keep everyone on medication is not the right way out; it is important that they first opt for lifestyle changes. Dr Shiva Raju, senior consultant physician and diabetologist, said, “A single reading is not sufficient to label hypertension. Several readings have to come to a conclusion.”

He said blood pressure should be checked in both arms when checking for the first time. “New guidelines are focusing on home blood pressure measurements for identifying and monitoring hypertension as this will give a clarity of readings at different points of time. This is because office and hospital blood pressure readings are always found to be slightly higher,” Dr Raju said.

The medical costs of high blood pressure and its related cardiovascular diseases is as high as $20 billion. With heart ailments, kidney problems and other co-morbid conditions associated with it, they key factor is to manage high blood pressure with lifestyle changes and dietary caution.

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