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World’s first hypertension awareness symbol launched in India

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. The condition is directly responsible for 29% of all strokes and 24% of heart attacks in India. Clinicians stress that early and timely diagnosis is key to preventing the disease from advancing to more serious secondary complications.
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, a research-led, integrated global pharmaceutical company, has launched the world’s first hypertension awareness symbol, in collaboration with Association of Physicians of India (API) and Hypertension Society of India (HSI). The symbol was developed in consultation with 50,000 leading doctors in the country, to raise awareness of the growing burden of hypertension and the need for timely screening.
Glenmark has also pledged on-ground support to the cause, by committing to screen 5 million people for hypertension, through screening kiosks at corporate hospitals in all major metro cities. Further, a dedicated task force of 200 people has been set up to conduct screening camps throughout the year in non-metros and remote parts of the country.

India’s hypertension screening programme typically starts at the age of 30, which experts are now saying is too late. Early blood pressure screening from 18 years of age and promotion of healthy lifestyles have been advised as the two-prong approach to reduce India’s current hypertension crisis.
Dr. Shashank Joshi, Consulting Endocrinologist – Mumbai, Dean of Indian College of Physicians, and Past President of Hypertension Society of India, said, “Hypertension is the most preventable cause of heart disease and stroke, yet it is rarely diagnosed in time because of its silent symptoms. It hits Indians at a far younger age than western populations, with many heart attacks and strokes occurring a decade earlier on average. The only way to catch it is through regular and timely community screenings.”
Dr. Siddharth Shah, Consulting Diabetologist – Mumbai, Emeritus Editor of API textbook of Medicine, and Editor in Chief of JAPI, explained, “The new hypertension awareness symbol will help increase awareness about this global silent killer and hopefully encourage more conversation around its signs, symptoms and treatment. The time has come for India to pay more attention to this condition that continues to claim hundreds of thousands of lives.”
Dr. Hemant Thacker, Consultant in Cardio-Metabolic disorders – Breach Candy & Bhatia Hospital Mumbai, said, “Without doubt, hypertension is one of those conditions where awareness plays a major role in disease management. This combined with regular screening will drive early detection and early initiation of treatment, which in turn will lead to fewer lives lost to hypertension.”
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