We did this study to determine the prevalence of hypertension in typical rural population in India as hypertension remains to be important risk factor for cardiovascular mortality and to determine access to blood pressure (BP) measurement and chances to get BP recorded.Design and Method:
Trained healthcare workers did household survey with measurement of BP two times in sitting position in adults at their homes along with a questionnaire filled up. Twenty six villages in three districts of Maharashtra were included.Results:
For total of 7966 participants, the prevalence of hypertension (BP > 140/90 mmHg) was 29.99%. Men had higher (32.94%) prevalence than women (26.58%). The prevalence of BP >120/80 mmHg was in 64.4%. Diastolic hypertension (20.84%) was more common than systolic hypertension (18.37%). Prevalence of prehypertension was 38.32%. Only 8.27% gave history of hypertension. Among 33.24% of the population who didn’t give history of hypertension found to have hypertension. Seventeen villages had no Primary Health Care Centre. Majority (75.29 %) told that they never checked BP and 70.45% aged above 60 years never checked BP in their lifetime. Women (10.53%) had more chances of BP measurements than men (6.73%).Conclusions:
The prevalence of hypertension in rural area is higher than reported in earlier studies. Mortality and or morbidity out of cardiovascular diseases in rural areas is significant and delay or missing the diagnosis of hypertension contributes to increase in the numbers. Majority of rural population is carrying risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. It is important to emphasize the importance of BP measurement to clinicians and healthcare workers to diagnose hypertension on time in individuals, as in our study significant number of population never checked their BP. Studies in rural India suggests that time spent by healthcare experts to examine patients in rural areas in India is less than a minute which leads to missing the diagnosis of hypertension; we need to address this.