Expert calls for dedicated hypertension clinics

Today is World Stroke Day

Often people who are brought to hospital for stroke or heart attack are found to have high blood pressure. Such adverse situations could be prevented if their BP had been checked prior to the attack.

“A person waking up with a stroke or heart attack is a common scenario in today’s life. These problems of heart attack and paralysis of one side are mainly due to high blood pressure, which is a silent killer,” according to A. Muruganathan, who prefers the term hypertensionologist to define what he does.

World Stroke Day will be observed on Friday.

According to him, in India over 21 crore people have high blood pressure and less than a third of them know about it. “Among those who take treatment, only a third are under control. More than 57% of strokes and 24% of heart attacks are due to high BP,” he said.

He said there was a need to set up dedicated hypertension clinics that is run by a physician with 10 years’ experience in managing the condition. Such clinics would improve hypertension screening and treatment to reduce the burden of complications. “When a person walks into a clinic, the first thing a physician should do is check the BP. Experienced physicians with proper clinical examination and history will get a clue for diagnosing secondary hypertension,” Dr. Muruganathan added.

He called for popularising home BP monitoring to optimise the management of hypertension patients.

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