Nearly one in four people in Meghalaya suffers from hypertension (high blood pressure), a nationwide survey has found.
The results of the study, which were published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal and conducted by the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and funded by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, revealed that though Meghalaya’s prevalence of hypertension, at 24.3 per cent, was the lowest among all the states and territories measured, its burden of the disease was the highest in the country.
Burden of disease generally describes the total, cumulative consequences of a defined disease with respect to effects on a community in terms of health, social aspects and costs to society.
Meanwhile, when it comes to diabetes, Meghalaya falls in the low to mid-range of between 5 and 7.4 per cent prevalence.
However, on both measures, Meghalaya’s urban population is doing worse than its rural citizens.
Nationwide, the study found that 11.4 per cent of Indians have diabetes, 15.3 per cent have pre-diabetes and a whopping 35.5 per cent have high blood pressure. This equates to 101 million people with diabetes in India, 136 million with pre-diabetes and 315 million with high blood pressure.
The study also found that the prevalence of generalised obesity and abdominal obesity in India stood at 28.6 and 39.5 per cent, respectively. The estimate shows that 254 million people in India had generalised obesity and 351 million had abdominal obesity in 2021.
In 2017, the team found that the prevalence of diabetes in India was around 7.5 per cent, meaning there has been an increase of over 50 per cent in the burden since then.
Among the states, Goa (26.4 per cent) had the highest prevalence of diabetes and Uttar Pradesh (4.8 per cent) had the lowest, while Sikkim (31.3 per cent) and Mizoram (6.8 per cent) had the highest and lowest burden of pre-diabetes. Punjab (51.8 per cent) had the highest prevalence of hypertension.
“The diabetes epidemic in India is in transition, with some states having already reached their peak rates while others are just getting started. These states may see an increase in prevalence over the next 3-5 years before plateauing,” Anjana, lead author of the study, said.
The results, assessing the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) across the states, are based on a survey of 1, 13,043 people (33,537 urban and 79,506 rural) in 31 states and Union territories in the country between 2008 and 2020.
The survey also showed that an alarming 81.2 per cent have dyslipidaemia – the imbalance of lipids such as cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, (LDL-C), triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
All metabolic NCDs except prediabetes were more frequent in urban than rural areas. In many states with a lower human development index, the ratio of diabetes to prediabetes was less than 1.