NEW DELHI: As many as 40% people from Delhi are at risk of inaccurate high blood pressure diagnosis. This has been found in data collated for the India Heart Study (HIS) conducted in 15 states across the country.
Two conspicuous causes for misdiagnosis are white-coat hypertension, which is a spike in blood pressure on seeing a doctor, and masked hypertension, wherein the readings are normal when measured at a doctor’s clinic but high at home or office on the same day.
Of the 1,228 people surveyed in Delhi, 21.10% had white-coat hypertension and 18.90% were found to have masked hypertension. The study analysed 18,918 people in all, who were evaluated by 1,233 doctors across 15 states over a period of nine months.
The combined data suggests, one out of four (24%) people visiting a clinic, whose blood pressure is measured, are likely to be misdiagnosed as having high blood pressure. Around 18.90% patients had masked hypertension.
“The study points to a need for better clinical management of hypertension in India. This is India-specific data and should help shape the best practices for the diagnosis of high blood pressure among Indians,” said Dr Upendra Kaul, senior cardiologist, Batra Hospital & Medical Research Centre. Dr Kaul was the principal investigator of the study.
“The study also points to a higher resting heart rate in Indians. This combination puts individuals at a greater risk of developing other complications,” said Dr JPS Sawhney, senior cardiologist, Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi.
“We can mitigate these risks by making simple lifestyle changes and by being watchful of our blood pressure,” he added.
Dr Sawhney further said, “Another important insight from the study is of Indians having higher blood pressure in the evening. Knowing both morning and evening blood pressure using home bold pressure monitor helps in deciding the time of medication for every patient.”