New Delhi: At least one in four Indian adults have hypertension in India, but only about 10 per cent of them have their blood pressure under control, said a latest report.

The India Hypertension Control Initiative report, released by the Indian Council of Medical Research Director-General, Dr Balram Bhargava, emphasised making hypertension a national priority.

The IHCI is a multi-partner initiative with the Union Health Ministry, the ICMR, and the WHO Country Office for India, which was launched to achieve the government’s goal of a 25 per cent relative reduction in raised blood pressure in 2017.

In the first year, IHCI covered 26 districts across the states of Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, and Maharashtra. By October 2021, it was expanded to 100 plus districts across 19 states.

“We compared the key indicators in 2020 and 2021 for the initial 26 Phase I districts. The quarterly cohort blood pressure control rates declined in the second and third quarters of 2020 due to Covid-19-related disruptions; control rates started improving in the first quarter of 2021,” the report underlines.

The community-level hypertension control improved in 21 project districts in 2021 compared to 2020.

Among the estimated 46 lakh hypertensives across initial Phase I 26 districts, BP control increased more than fourfold, although from a very low baseline – 6.1 per cent achieved BP control in the first quarter of 2021 compared to 4.9 per cent in Q1 of 2020 and 1.4 per cent in Q1-2019. Overall, the number of patients with controlled BP continued to increase over three years (2,83,457 in Q1-2021; 2,18,340 in Q1-2020 and 64,704 in Q1-2019).

The numbers declined in Kerala due to poor documentation during the pandemic and the inability to provide medication refills at the subcentre level, the report said, adding that six districts achieved more than 10 per cent community level BP control.

The report also highlights scalable key strategies, which include patient-centred care, standard treatment protocols, access to drugs, simple information system to ensure treatment and control of high BP.

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