Recent Guidelines for Hypertension: A Clarion Call for Blood Pressure Control in India

The high burden of hypertension in India warrants drastic improvements in the clinical monitoring of and awareness about hypertension among Indians.

The estimated prevalence of hypertension in India is above 25%, and the incidence of hypertension among older Indians (>70 years) is almost 60%. India’s blood pressure (BP) control rate is at a dismal 15%. Moreover, the growing incidence of hypertension risk factors like diabetes mellitus, prediabetes mellitus, hyperuricemia,  cholesterol levels, body weight, sedentary lifestyles, and unhealthy dietary practices are exacerbating the cardiovascular disease (CVD) epidemic in the country.

Evidence has demonstrated that systolic BP levels between 130 and 139 mmHg and diastolic BP levels between 80 and 89 mmHg cause substantial CVD-related morbidity and mortality among Indians. Therefore, a national BP goal of <130/80 mmHg should be advocated for.

Hypertension awareness is low among Indians and there are stark urban-rural differences in noncommunicable disease (NCD) services across the country. Patient empowerment using information technology tools, professional education in risk factors prevention, the revision of the Indian hypertension guidelines, and close monitoring of at-risk patients are necessary to tackle the increasing burden of hypertension in India.