Hypertension Predisposing Middle-aged Indians to Heart Diseases: Insights from NFHS
Hypertension, the most important modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), affects 1.13 billion people globally. The blood pressure levels of Indian men, aged between 40-55 years, have been found to be the highest among their counterparts from 20 other developing countries. Systolic hypertension is a common risk factor in heart failure. It has also been established that substantial stroke and ischemic heart disease mortality are attributable to hypertension. There is limited data available from Asian countries like India regarding these linkages. The present paper attempts to bridge the gap by focusing on the risk factors of hypertension and its linkages with heart disease. National Family Health Survey-4 (2015-16) data has been used for the present study. Bivariate analysis and logistic regression, have been employed to assess the factors associated with hypertension and to assess the linkage of hypertension with heart diseases. Approximately, 1.2 percent of Indian males are currently affected by heart diseases, out of which 12.7 percent of the males affected are hypertensive, too. Hypertension has been found to be associated with increased odds of heart diseases among both men and women. The differences in the prevalence of hypertension among men and women, its linkages with heart diseases, as well as the ways to control elevated blood pressure levels are important from a policy-making perspective concerning public health.