Indians have an average resting heart rate of 80 beats per minute which is higher than the desired rate of 72, Indian Heart Study (IHS) has found.
The IHS also highlighted that unlike people of other countries, Indians have higher blood pressure in the evenings than in mornings. The study was conducted on 18,918 participants, both men and women, across 355 cities in 15 states over a period of nine months from April 2018. It was carried out by 19 doctors to rethink about the timing of prescribing anti-hypertension drug dosage.
“The study has provided us with insights on the prevalence of white-coat hypertension, masked hypertension, and resting heart rates pertinent to Indian population,” said Prof Dr Soumitra Kumar, Head of the Department of Cardiology of city-based Vivekananda Institute of Medical Sciences and Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratishthan and a co-ordinator for IHS.
Masked-hypertension is a phenomenon when an individuals blood pressure reading is normal at the doctors clinic but high at home, while white-coat hypertension is a condition in which people exhibit a blood pressure level above the normal range in a clinical setting only. The IHS findings highlight a high prevalence of masked hypertension and white-coat hypertension in Indians at 42 per cent on first visit to a doctors clinic.
In West Bengal, 22.50 per cent of the respondents were white-coat hypertensive, while 17.30 per cent were found to have masked hypertension. White-coat hypertensives, who are misdiagnosed and put on anti-hypertension drugs have to take unnecessary medication while a masked hypertensive may go undiagnosed running the risk of complications of the heart, the kidneys, and the brain, leading to premature mortality, the study said.
“There is a close link between high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases, which are on the rise in our country. We need to take right measures to cut down on the risks by monitoring our blood pressure,” Dr Kumar said. Dr Lalit Kumar Agarwal, nephrologist at a private hospital here said, kidneys are at a high risk of damage in people with high blood pressure or hypertension.
The study was conducted on “drug-naive” set of participants — people not on any anti-hypertension drug — using a comprehensive process of taking blood pressure readings.