Almost 20% of Kerala’s population suffers from hypertension, diabetes, finds screening data

Close to 80 lakh people in Kerala were screened for lifestyle diseases and around 20 percent were found to be at risk of serious conditions.

BySouth First Desk

Published Feb 23, 2023 | 8:00 AM Updated Feb 23, 2023 | 8:00 AM

Beyond medication and aerobic exercises, a study has shown that isometric core exercise can help control blood pressure. (Creative Commons)

A statewide screening for lifestyle diseases conducted by the Kerala Health Services Department has found that around 20 percent of the population of Kerala was suffering from hypertension and diabetes.

Out of a total of 79,41,962 people — nearly 80 lakh — screened so far, 19.97 percent (15,86,661) fell under the risk factor group for any serious disease, 11.02 percent (8,75,236) had hypertension, 8.88 percent (7,05,475) had diabetes, and 3.88 percent (3,08,825) were suspected to have both, said the state’s Health Minister Veena George in a statement.

Food poisoning Kerala Health Minister Veena George

Kerala Health Minister Veena George. (Facebook)

She added that early detection and treatment of the diseases would prevent complications in the future.

“By early detection and treatment of lifestyle diseases and cancer, the diseases can be treated and cured without complications,” she noted.

As per the National Institute of Health, lifestyle diseases “characterise those diseases whose occurrence is primarily based on the daily habits of people and are a result of an inappropriate relationship of people with their environment”.

Heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke, chronic lung disease, and cancer are some of the most common lifestyle diseases, otherwise called non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Also read: How 43 women brought hypertension down in their community

5 lakh referred for suspected cancer

The screening also identified more than five lakh people who were referred for suspected cancer, Veena George said.

She added that the screening was carried out across the state as part of the government’s campaign to control lifestyle diseases by detecting and treating them early.

For this, ₹10 crore was set aside in the budget for the development of the country’s only scheme for lifestyle disease control and related activities, the minister said.

About the campaign

The campaign and the screening launched by the state to prevent lifestyle diseases has become a role model in the country in the field of health, said Veena George.

An app was also developed with the help of eHealth to screen people above 30 years of age at home, she added.

A cancer screening dashboard was also developed as part of the cancer control strategy and through this, 6.49 percent (5,15,938) have been referred for suspected cancer, she said.

Free diagnosis and treatment is provided to those who need it, she added.

Also read: Does tobacco cause cancer in all? HCG study looks to find the answer

(With PTI inputs)