New Delhi: Hypertension or high blood pressure is normally described as a lifestyle disease which generally afflicts sedentary urban elites. But tribal populations in 11 states are falling prey to this disease, a
study has found.
A population-based study conducted by the Indian Council
of Medical Research found that hypertension is prevalent
amongst tribals in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra
Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Andaman
and Nicobar Islands, Assam and West Bengal.
According to the study, "hypertension amongst the
Nicobarese of Car Nicobar was 47 per cent. In Assam, it was
found to be 60.8 per cent among tea garden tribes. In Orissa,
67.3 per cent of females of Lanjia Saora tribe were detected
with high BP."
A chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure
in the arteries is elevated, persistent hypertension is one of
the major indicators of cardiovascular diseases and kidney
Behaviourists generally attribute hypertension in
urbanites to an erratic lifestyle, high alcohol consumption
and lack of exercise.
However, "it is a cause of concern that hypertension has
been found to be prevalent amongst the tribal population in 11
states. Tribal people indulge in lot of physical activity but
attributing alcohol consumption for high BP will be wrong
because in Assam it was surprising to know that excess salt
consumption was the main reason for high BP there," M V
Katoch, DG, ICMR said.
"We are yet to find out the cause of high BP amongst the
tribes in other 10 states," he said.