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Hyper tension among upper Assam people
SANJOY RAY
 GUWAHATI, Nov 30 – Blame it on man’s over dependence on machine or fast urbanisation process, districts of upper Assam area are fast falling under the grip of hyper tension, an underlining factor of increasing number of deaths due to stroke among urban population.

Official records show that there has been a significant increase in the number of people diagnosed for hyper tension in the comparatively developed towns of upper Assam like Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Sivasagar.

A screening done by the National Health Mission shows that nearly 11 per cent of the total population screened was diagnosed for hyper tension in Dibrugarh, followed by Lakhimpur with 9.36 per cent.

The screening was done by the NHM in five select districts of Assam from January to September this year. Kamrup (Rural), which was one of the districts where the survey was conducted, recorded hyper tension prevalence of over eight per cent, closely followed by Jorhat (above 8 per cent).

“The average prevalence rate in the select districts where we conducted the screening is nearly 8 to 10 per cent, which is high. Changing lifestyle which includes unhealthy food habits and lack of regular physical exercise have led to such a situation,” said Dr GC Doley, State Programme Officer, Non Communicable Disease (NCD) of NHM told this reporter.

“Increasing dependence on alcohol is also one of the prime reasons,” he said, adding that nine more districts will be covered in the next phase.

He informed that the NHM has introduced a number of projects to make them aware about the ill consequences, which include setting up of geriatric ward for patients over 60 years of age with additional medical staff and NCD clinic.

Moreover, as per the latest health annual survey report (2012-13), no district of lower Assam feature in the top ten positions of the districts with highest prevalence rate of hyper tension in the entire State. Nalbari is placed at the 11th position in terms of prevalence rate.

The highest prevalence rate (per lakh population) was reported in Jorhat, Golaghat, Sivasagar, Nagaon and Dibrugarh.

Kokrajhar has recorded the lowest prevalence rate in the entire State.

Compared to the preceding annual health survey, prevalence of hyper tension in comparatively developed areas has climbed several notches in Assam, especially in upper Assam.

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