The overall prevalence of hypertension was found to be 30.7% among 180,335 participants across 24 states and union territories of India.
Hypertension is considered to be the most important factor for cardiovascular disease-related mortality and morbidity. But because of the heterogeneous study designs used to evaluate hypertension in India, there are a lack of studies on hypertension that can be generalized to the entire Indian population. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of hypertension among Indians aged >18 years.
Blood pressure readings were collected from adult participants who attended Blood Pressure camp across 24 states and union territories. Automated oscillometric machines were used to measure blood pressure. Systolic blood pressures >140 mmHg and diastolic blood pressures >90 mmHg were considered hypertensive.
The prevalence of hypertension was 30.7 % (95% CI: 29.7, 32.8). Hence, almost 1 in 3 participants were hypertensive. Hypertension prevalence estimates were 29.7% and 32.8% when adjusted for the 2011 census population of India and the WHO reference population, respectively. A high prevalence was also found in the 20—44 years age group (22.4%), which was more than double of that in a similar population in the USA (10.5%). Among those participants who were hypertensive, only about half of them (51.4%) were aware of their disease status.
Therefore, the prevalence of hypertension in India is very high, especially among young Indians. This is a cause for concern as hypertension can increase the risk of premature cardiovascular disease-related mortality in economically productive Indians.