India Heart Study (IHS) commissioned by Eris Lifesciences
August 20, 2019
Revealing the findings of India Heart Study (IHS), conducted by 1,200 doctors on close to 19,000 subjects across the country, doctors on Tuesday said 24% recorded a spike in BP during an appointment with a doctor — a phenomenon called ‘white coat hypertension’.
In all, 41% of the subjects were unaware of the fact that they had high blood pressure, said doctors associated with the study commissioned by pharmaceutical company Eris Lifesciences.
The study found that 18% exhibited ‘masked hypertension’, an inversion of white coat hypertension, in a patient’s blood pressure register as normal in a doctor’s clinic but increase at other times, when they’re at home, in-office or elsewhere or while traveling.
The upshot of these unusual conditions is that they result in misdiagnosis.
The perils of misdiagnosis due to masked hypertension are manifold. This is because high blood pressure is a risk factor for not only heart disease: It damages the body for years before symptoms manifest and, left uncontrolled, could lead to diabetes, blindness, paralysis and brain aneurysms that cause hemorrhagic strokes (bleeding in the brain).
India has the largest number of hypertension cases in the world — an estimated 10 crore people in the country have hypertension.
“The prevalence of high blood pressure or hypertension is increasing in the state,” said cardiologist Dr BV Baliga, IHS coordinator and director of Baliga Diagnostics. “Adults past 40 should monitor their blood pressure at home regularly besides getting it checked at a doctor’s clinic.”
Eris Lifesciences president Dr Viraj Suvarna said masked hypertension, if undetected, is a dangerous condition. “It is important to monitor one’s blood pressure even at home, according to prescribed guidelines,” he said.
“There are several complications associated with high blood pressure,” nephrologist Dr Sanjeev Hiremath said. “Besides increasing the chances of heart attacks and strokes, BP accelerates kidney diseases. Those suffering from kidney disorders or other issues, should ensure that they monitor their blood pressure using validated devices for better disease management.”