The Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan feels that a certain day of each year should be declared as "National Hypertension Day" with the World Health Organisation (WHO) stating that the disease accounts for 7 per cent of disability adjusted life years world-wide and 9.4 million deaths annually.
"I am preparing the Ministry to meet the growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCD). Hypertension, diabetes, cancers, and coronary artery disease are projected by WHO as the biggest gnawers of our public health budget in the next decade," said Vardhan at the 23rd Annual Conference of the Hypertension Society of India (HSICON) here today.
The roots of most NCD, including hypertension lie in the modern, sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, more resources than before would be deployed for the objective of raising public awareness on preventive measures and early diagnosis, he said. "I hope to marshal the synergies of organisations in the medical field into making National Hypertension Day a platform for intensive dialogue between government and patient, pharmaceutical company and patient, lifestyle gurus and patient, and so on.
"It will also highlight the dangers of consuming junk food, alcohol consumption and smoking, physical inactivity, as well as the importance of Yoga for both prevention and management of hypertension," the Minister said.
In India, hypertension is the leading NCD risk and estimated to be attributable for nearly 10 percent of all deaths. The number of hypertensive individuals is anticipated to nearly double from 118 million in 2000 to 213 million by 2025.