STATES

Be aware! Hypertension, diabetes have hit the epidemic button in Odisha

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Keep aside Covid for a moment, hypertension and diabetes have assumed epidemic proportions in Odisha with long-term impact on health and well-being of the population. The latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS) has revealed alarming statistics on hypertension and diabetes prevalence in the State as one in every four men and one in every five women in Odisha have elevated blood pressure and taking medicine to control it, while almost 17 per cent men and 14 National Family Health Survey women of 15 years and above have high blood sugar and on medication.

The survey found 25.6 per cent men and 22.4 per cent women aged above 15 years have high BP. It is more prevalent in urban areas with 29.3 pc men and 24.5 women suffering from the disease as compared to 24.9 per cent and 21.9 per cent respectively in rural pockets. Around 6.1 per cent men and 5.6 per cent women have severely elevated BP and another 16.8 per cent men and 12.9 per cent women have mildly elevated blood pressure which may subsequently add to the population having hypertension if not controlled.

Similar to hypertension, men have a higher risk of incidence of diabetes when compared with women. While 8.7 per cent men and 6.6 per cent women have very high blood sugar levels despite being treated, another 7.3 per cent men and 6.5 per cent women have high sugar level but not taking medicine. Of the 131 key indicators surveyed in the State, hypertension and blood sugar level were included for the first time. 

The share of population affected with the diseases in Odisha is above the national average as 24 per cent men and 21.3 per cent women have high BP and 15.6 per cent men and 13.5 pc women are highly diabetic in the country.  
Health experts said non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like hypertension and diabetes are lifelong illnesses that adversely affect the quality of life. As the State is still unable to control child malnutrition and anaemia, the rise of NCDs will further add to the economic burden.

Dr Manas Pradhan, assistant professor of Mumbai-based International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) that conducted the survey said compared to the women population, a higher proportion of men have both high and very high blood sugar levels and blood pressure and the trend is consistent across the districts.

“Early identification, treatment and management as well as healthy behaviour including diet and physical activity can only reduce the burden of these diseases. As the lifestyle ailments like diabetes and hypertension act as comorbidities for Covid-19, those may compound the health issues further in case third wave hits,” he warned.

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