Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, a research-led, integrated global pharmaceutical company, launched the world’s first hypertension awareness symbol, in collaboration with Association of Physicians of India (API) and Hypertension Society of India (HSI). The symbol is developed in consultation with 50,000 leading doctors in the country, to raise awareness of the growing burden of hypertension and the need for timely screening.
Glenmark has also pledged on-ground support to the cause by screening 5 million people for hypertension, through screening kiosks at corporate hospitals in all major metro cities. Further, a dedicated task force of 200 people has been set up to conduct screening camps throughout the year in non-metros and remote parts of the country.
Commenting on the significance of these interventions, Shashank Joshi, consulting endocrinologist – Mumbai, dean of Indian College of Physicians, and past president of Hypertension Society of India, said, “Hypertension is the most preventable cause of heart disease and stroke, yet it is rarely diagnosed in time because of its silent symptoms. It hits Indians at a far younger age than western populations, with many heart attacks and strokes occurring a decade earlier on average. The only way to catch it is through regular and timely community screenings.”
Siddharth Shah, consulting diabetologist – Mumbai, editor of API textbook of Medicine, and editor in chief of JAPI, explained, “The new hypertension awareness symbol will help increase awareness about this global silent killer and hopefully encourage more conversation around its signs, symptoms and treatment. India’s time has come to pay more attention to this condition that continues to claim hundreds of thousands of lives.”
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. The condition is directly responsible for 29% of all strokes and 24% of heart attacks in India. These advanced diseases pose a major burden on the country’s healthcare infrastructure and contribute to high morbidity and mortality rates. Clinicians stress that early and timely diagnosis is key to preventing the disease from advancing to more serious secondary complications.
Hemant Thacker, consultant in Cardio-Metabolic disorders – Breach Candy and Bhatia Hospital Mumbai, said, “Without doubt, hypertension is one of those conditions where awareness plays a major role in disease management. This combined with regular screening will drive early detection and early initiation of treatment, which will lead to fewer lives lost to hypertension.”
India’s hypertension screening program typically starts at the age of 30, which experts are now saying is too late. Early blood pressure screening from 18 years of age and promotion of healthy lifestyles have been advised as the two-prong approach to reduce India’s current hypertension crisis. To know more about hypertension, visit this website.