Published on February 28, 2021

AHMEDABAD: The blood pressure of Gujaratis is rising! A study has found that while prevalence of hypertension or high blood pressure spiked across categories in Gujarat between 2016 and 2020, women were more affected by the health condition.

Compared to 2016, men recorded 32% rise (from 9.9% to 13.1%) in the category of slightly above normal, according to the National Family Health Survey (NHFS) 5, conducted in 2019-20. Over 29,000 families were covered in the state. For women, this rise was 58% (from 7.4% to 11.7%).

The paper titled ‘Trend of Hypertension in Gujarat–Understanding the NFHS-4 and NFHS-5 Data’ by Dr Swati Patel and Dr Prakash Patel from SMIMER mentioned that the overall prevalence of hypertension in Gujarat during NHFS-5 has also increased significantly.

While in absolute terms, men recorded more prevalence of hypertension, the rise was significant for women in both slightly above normal and moderately high categories. Among the urban females, the above normal hypertension in NFHS-5 was 11.4%, which rose from 8.2%. Among the rural women, it rose from 6.7% to 12%.

Dr Jayesh Prajapati, professor of cardiology at the UNMICRC, said that they have seen a steady rise among women patients. “While factors such as stress, erratic lifestyle and eating habits are more or less the same for both the genders, women are expected to handle both home and professional fronts, putting them under comparatively more duress,” he said.

“Compared to men, we see women getting less opportunities to look after their health in terms of exercise and diet,” said Dr Manoj Vithlani, a city-based internal medicines expert. “But one must understand that hypertension is a silent killer, and constantly high blood pressure can invite health complications ranging from heart attack to internal organ failure.”

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