New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) Hypertension and tobacco are the top most causes of premature mortality and people consuming tobacco in any form are at high risk of many diseases, as nicotine is solely responsible for constricted arteries, heart failure, inflammation, many types of cancers, blindness, and gangrene, while it also complicates existing hypertension.The above was mentioned by noted interventional Cardiologist Dr. (Prof) (Col.) Shekhar Kashyap while speaking at a webinar on 'Hypertension, COVID-19 and Tobacco – A Deadly Triad'. Kashyap is the former Head of Department (Cardiology), Army's Research & Referral Hospital in New Delhi."Although the tobacco lobby promotes that nicotine does not cause hypertension, it affects all the organ systems. Tobacco consumption in any form be it cigarettes, chewable, and nicotine gum, causes increase in blood pressure and elevates the heart rates. Nicotine cessation can help immediately. Within 20 minutes of cessation, blood pressure returns to normal and 15 years of cessation eliminates all hazards of smoking," added Kashyap.Hypertension is the most widely prevalent vascular disease among the low and middle income group countries. It is also one of the biggest causes of premature deaths in the world. Today, one in every four men and one in every five women today are suffering from hypertension."Those who consume tobacco have poorly controlled hypertension. It is a myth that smokeless tobacco or non-combustible tobacco has no ill-effects. There are ample studies to prove that these cause many diseases," Kashyap said, adding that tobacco blunts the effects of medicines taken to stabilise blood pressure.Kashyap said persons with cardiometabolic factors face a higher risk of severe Covid-19 condition along with complications and mortality. Chewing tobacco can increase the risk of Covid-19 as the person does not wear a mark, the hand to mouth contact increases, salivating and spitting puts others at risk, and sitting together to drink and smoke leaves no room for social distancing, thereby increasing the risk of spreading the infection."To counter the threat of Covid-19, it is imperative to combat the misinformation campaigns. The studies that purportedly claim consumption of alcohol or smoking can prevent Covid-19, may be manipulated and, therefore, as a vigilant society, there needs to be a high index of suspicion around such studies, he added. Kashyap advised that people should rely on information and guidelines from credible sources such as the WHO, US CDC, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and ICMR.He said that there is a lot of ground that needs to be covered, which can begin with sensitising kids at the kindergarten level about the harmful effects of tobacco on our health. Further, surrogate advertisements promoting the use of tobacco in any form should not be allowed in the vicinity of schools or other educational institutions.--IANSksk/
<br>According to the experts, inflammation in arteries caused by Covid-19 infection is affecting the autonomic nervous system which is resulting in the fluctuation of blood pressure (BP) in such patients.Therefore, keeping a tab on BP levels among hypertension patients is a must, said Rakesh Chugh, Senior Consultant and in charge, CTVS, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, ahead of the World Hypertension Day, which is observed on May 17."This pandemic, which is giving anxiety and tension, is more dangerous for BP patients as many of them are frequently reporting with BP and pulse going up and down," Chugh told IANS.The experts mentioned that Covid-19 is known to involve people with existing hypertension more frequently than an otherwise healthy person.According to TS Kler, Chairman, Fortis Heart and Vascular Institute, Gurugram and Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj, it may be due to the fact the immunity is weaker in these individuals."However, the clear association of Covid-19 as a causative risk factor for hypertension is not established," Kler told IANS.The expert also warned that smoking can lead to adverse effects among hypertension patients as it has long been known that BP and heart rate increase during smoking.These effects are specifically associated with nicotine."Smoking cessation is of utmost importance for managing the BP. So, quitting smoking not just reduces BP, but also reduces the risk of heart attacks and stroke in hypertension patients.Other than that, exercise and a good diet also play an important role among hypertension patients.Anand Kumar Pandey, Director and Senior Consultant- Cardiology, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, said that the stress and anxiety caused by this pandemic are potentially worsening our hypertension patients' condition."Therefore, such patients need medical as well as emotional support in this unprecedented time," Pandey noted.Witnessing a decline in the last 24 hours, India on Sunday reported 3,11,170 new Covid-19 cases, and 4,077 fatalities, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.In the past 24 days, India's daily Covid tally has plateaued over the three-lakh mark and over 3,000 casualties for 18 days.(Vivek Singh Chauhan can be contacted at [email protected])--IANS<br>vc/sdr/
While alcohol intake and thyroid issues among Indians seem to have reduced over the past year, a new health report has detailed a concerning increase in levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes, despite fitness and health becoming a nationwide area of interest during the Covid-19 lockdown.
As per the Health Risk Assessment (HRA) Score, 1 in 2 Indians is either in the 'High Risk' or 'Borderline' category. This is a massive 12 per cent improvement from last year's figures where 62 per cent Indians fell into the 'Unhealthy' category.
According to GOQii's latest India Fit Report 2021, majority of people can become healthy by making few adjustments to their lifestyle. Reduction in commute time and lockdown probably allowed Indians to focus more on their health and making their immune system stronger. From a gender wise perspective, men are healthier in comparison to women. From an age wise perspective, the younger generation is unhealthier in comparison to the older generation.
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About 15 per cent of users have reported high BP in 2020 in comparison to 13.4 per cent in 2019. This figure, according to the report, has steadily increased over the last 4 years. About 35 per cent users also reported this disease runs in the family which is a significant figure. Blood pressure cases among older adults are just triple of those in adults. Safe to say, then, that people above 45 are at more risk of having hypertension.
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An analysis conducted by a full-stack digital ecosystem for diabetes care and management revealed that the average pre-pandemic fasting sugar levels in January till mid-February was 138 mg/dl whereas in March till mid-April it rose to 165 mg/dl. One-third claim this disease runs in the family. The percentage of those suffering from diabetes went triple, from adults to older adults.
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About 13 per cent users reported high cholesterol, a figure that has remained stable for the past two years. On the other hand, only 4 per cent mentioned they had heart issues which is a major decrease from 8.6 per cent in 2019.
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Figures for drinking have reduced for almost all of the age groups and across a majority of cities. Many reasons can be accounted for the same. To start with, the biggest reason can be the onset of the nationwide lockdown because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Travelling was restricted and all the major places where usually people used to drink earlier like cafes, restaurants, bars etc. were shut down. All of these cumulatively decreased the drinking of the people as the only option they were left with was to drink at home, which was not a feasible option for a lot of people. Some comfortably did that, while a majority were not that comfortable in drinking amid their family members and hence the number reduced this year.
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As compared to last year's data, there is a significant reduction in the number of people falling sick in every age category this year. This could be due to the increased awareness in people regarding immunity levels through healthy lifestyle and nutrition food choices. The dip in pollution levels across the nation could also be a reason for this.
The report also revealed that stress levels remained high throughout the year. The survey outcome highlighted a rise in stress index from 4.98 in Mid-year to 5.11 at end of the year. Forty-five per cent are currently plagued with depression.
City-wise, Surat, Jaipur and Patna are the top 3 healthiest cities in India, respectively, as revealed by the survey whereas Lucknow, Kolkata and Chennai are the unhealthiest. (Siddhi Jain)
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London- A brain pressure disorder called idiopathic intracranial hypertension is on the rise, and the increase corresponds with rising obesity rates, a new study suggests.
Idiopathic intracranial hypertension is when the pressure in the fluid surrounding the brain rises. It can mimic the symptoms of a brain tumour, causing chronic, disabling headaches, vision problems and in rare cases, vision loss. It is most often diagnosed in women of childbearing age. Treatment is often weight loss and in some cases, surgery may be required.
"The considerable increase in idiopathic intracranial hypertension we found may be due to many factors but likely mostly due to rising obesity rates," said researcher William Owen Pickrell from Swansea University in the UK.
For the study, published in the journal Neurology, the researchers used a national healthcare database to analyze 35 million patient-years of data over a 15-year period, between 2003 and 2017 in Wales.
They identified 1,765 people with idiopathic intracranial hypertension during that time. Of the group, 85 percent were women.
The team recorded body mass index measurements for study participants. Body mass index is calculated by dividing weight by height. For every one person with the disorder, researchers compared three people without it who were matched for gender, age and socioeconomic status.
The socioeconomic status of each person with the disorder was determined by where they live, using a national scoring system that considers factors like income, employment, health, education and access to services.
People in the study were then divided into five groups ranging from those with the fewest socioeconomic advantages to those with the most.
Overall, researchers found a six-fold increase in the number of cases of the disorder over the course of the study. In 2003, for every 100,000 people, 12 were living with the disorder, compared to 76 people in 2017. Also, in 2013, for every 100,000 people, two were diagnosed during that year, compared to eight people in 2017.
The team found that the increasing number of people living with the disorder corresponded to rising obesity rates during the study, with 29 percent of the population being obese in 2003 compared to 40 percent in 2017. (IANS)
New York, Pregnant women who exercise more during the first trimester of pregnancy may have a lower risk of developing gestational diabetes, a new study suggests.
The analysis found that lower risk was associated with at least 38 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each day -- a bit more than current recommendations of at least 30 minutes a day five days a week.
"We know that exercise is safe and beneficial for healthy pregnant women. These results show that exercise is helpful in avoiding gestational diabetes, though you might need to do a little bit more than currently recommended to enjoy that benefit," said researcher of the study, Samantha Ehrlich, Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in the US.
Gestational diabetes refers to diabetes diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy. It can pose serious health problems including pregnancy and delivery complications as well as increased future risk for diabetes in both mother and child.
For the study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, the team analyzed data collected for the Pregnancy Environment and Lifestyle Study (PETALS), a longitudinal study that included a physical activity questionnaire from 2,246 pregnant women.
The observational study was based on women's self-reported levels of exercise during their first trimester of pregnancy.
It found that exercising at least 38 minutes per day lowered the risk of gestational diabetes by 2.1 cases per 100 women and the risk of abnormal blood sugar by 4.8 cases per 100 women.
"We know that six to 10 women per 100 get gestational diabetes," Ehrlich said. "If being more active could reduce that by two women per 100, that's a clear benefit."
The authors suggest that the current recommendations may need to be rethought to improve women's chances of preventing gestational diabetes with exercise. (IANS)
<br>There is a grave interlink between comorbidities and coronavirus infection. Patients with hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, chronic obstructive lung, carcinoma or chronic kidney disease have higher chance of succumbing to the disease, according to public health experts.According to Animesh Ray, Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at AIIMS, "In September, 137 patients were admitted to AIIMS, and comorbidities were present in 98.5 per cent of them. There was presence of comorbidities in almost all the patients, barring two."Ray said that hypertension was the most common form of ailment in the patients, followed by diabetes and malignancy. "One in four patients had multiple comorbidities. Out of 137, 128 were discharged while nine succumbed to the dusease, out of which six were asymptomatic or had mild infection, while three were severely ill," Ray said during the AIIMS National Combined Grand Rounds on Covid-19.Hypertension is defined as blood pressure above 140/90, and is considered severe if the pressure is above 180/120. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. Over time, if untreated, it can cause health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke.AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, who is also the part of a core team monitoring the pandemic, also said that comorbidities not only lead to a poor prognosis in terms of morbidity and mortality, but sometimes they also get aggravated because of underline Covid-19."Diabetes has emerged as an important comorbidity. It can lead to poor prognosis in terms of morbidity and mortality, especially where diabetes is not well-controlled. It has been well said that a collision of two pandemics -- Covid-19 pandemic and diabetes pandemic -- has led to worse outcomes in these patients."Guleria added that there is a bi-directional flow as far as diabetes and Covid-19 is concerned. Individuals who have diabetes have more severe Covid-19 infection."There are some data which suggest that it may aggravate to lead to the development of Type-1 diabetes. Anyone who has diabetes, infection control becomes an issue for him/her."(Aakanksha Khajuria can be contacted at [email protected])--IANS<br>aka/arm
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