Four in 10 people with heart ailments or hypertension, or both, are not aware of their medical condition. Five in 10 seek a doctor’s help only during an emergency.
The findings — centred on heart diseases and hypertension — of a primary healthcare survey in the country were shared on Wednesday. September 29 is marked as World Heart Day.
The report, titled “Non-Communicable Diseases in India”, covered 2,33,672 people and 673 public health offices in 21 states to analyse the rising burden of non-communicable diseases in the country. The study was conducted by the Kolkata Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) jointly with a Delhi-based think tank, Thought Arbitrage Research Institute (Tari).
The survey highlighted that heart diseases and hypertension have a prevalence of 1.01 per cent and 3.6 per cent, respectively. Both diseases together account for 32 per cent of all non-communicable diseases in the country.
Cardiologists in Kolkata said the pandemic had sharpened the focus on heart diseases because patterns that emerged from Covid management indicated that people with comorbidities of non-communicable diseases had a higher mortality rate.
“The prognosis of a patient with a severe Covid infection and serious cardiac condition depends on controlling the Covid infection. Such a patient is at much more risk than someone with a mild Covid infection and a serious cardiac condition. In the second case, the patient has a much better chance of survival if the heart condition is treated,” said Suvanan Roy, a cardiologist based in Kolkata.
Revealing the low awareness level, the survey pointed out that more than 40 per cent of the respondents suffering from heart diseases and hypertension said they were not aware about their conditions for more than three years. For heart ailments, over 70 per cent of the respondents stated that they were diagnosed after a year of suffering.
Highlighting gaps in the treatment-seeking, the report underlined that about 10 per cent of the respondents suffering from cardio-vascular diseases or hypertension were not seeking any treatment. The survey further showed that over 52 per cent of patients sought medical advice only in the case of an emergency.
Some key findings of the report
- Risk of heart diseases rises from age 36 to 45
- Prevalence of hyper-tension higher in females compared to males. Incidence of heart diseases higher in males compared to females
- High stress level is the main risk factor for heart diseases, followed by dietary habits