Rural youth reel under high blood pressure in Gujarat

More rural than urban youth in 20-25 age group suffer from hypertension, finds study

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Rural youth reel under high blood pressure in Gujarat
Picture for representational purpose


It is generaly beliieved that the urban youth, who are exposed to constant stress and junk food, have a blood pressure (BP). However, an in-depth study in Gujarat on the prevalence of diabetes and other associated diseases found that the rural youth aged between 20 and 25 years, have more hypertension-related ailments.

The ICMR-INDIAB cross-sectional door-to-door study found that while the prevalence of hypertension in youth in the same age group was around 2 to 3% in urban areas, it was around 19% in rural areas.

While the rural places have more cases of youth, between 25-34 years, suffering from hypertension, the number was close in the rural and urban areas for the people belonging to the agre group 35 to 44 years and 45 to 54 years.

In fact, it was only for those 55 years and above that, living in the urban areas, that showed higher number of people with hypertension rather than rural areas.

Dr Banshi Saboo, a diabetologist who was also the principal investigator for the the study, said rural regions have higher number of people suffering from hypertension possibly because the urbanisers consume more junk food.

"The truth is that we don't know much about why the case is so. There is no doubt that in Gujarat the overall consumption of salt is very high irrespective of rural or urban settings. However, it could be that those in rural areas, particularly the youth, might not be aware of the harmful effects of too much salt intake," said Dr Saboo. In urban areas people may still be aware and may take precautionary measures and that could be one reason although we don't know for sure. Another reason could be sheer ignorance, he said.

"It is a fact that youth in this age group in fact most people below 45 years don't get their blood pressure checked regularly and so remain unaware of the problem," sadi Dr Saboo. He said overall 25% of the population below 45 years of the state would be suffering from hypertension.

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