M.V. Hospital for Diabetes and Prof. M. Viswanathan Diabetes Research Centre, (WHO Collaborating Centre for Research, Education and Training in Diabetes & IDF Centre for Excellence in Diabetes Care), No. 4, West Madha Church Street, Royapuram, Chennai, 600013, India. [Email]
A tremendous increase in the coexistence of diabetes and hypertension has been observed recently in India. Apart from lifestyle and genetic factors, socioeconomic status, age, gender, occupation and lack of awareness are also contributing to the tremendous increases in the prevalence of both the diseases. Hypertension has been long recognised as one of the major risk factors for chronic disease burden, morbidity and mortality in India, attributable to 10.8% of all deaths in the country. Even though microvascular complications are frequently linked to hyperglycaemia, studies have also proven the critical involvement of hypertension in the development of these co-morbidities. The co-occurrence of hypertension in diabetic patients considerably escalates the risks of coronary heart disease, stroke, nephropathy and retinopathy. The annual expenditure for diabetes for the Indian population was estimated to be 1541.4 billion INR ($31.9 billion) in 2010. The expense of diabetes care further escalates in the presence of complications or co-morbidities. Generally, a diabetic patient with hypertension spent an average of 1.4 times extra than a diabetic patient without hypertension. Even though diabetes and hypertension are considered as important risk factors for cardiovascular and chronic kidney diseases, the awareness about the prevention, treatment and control of these diseases remains alarmingly low in the developing countries like India. The healthcare system in India should focus on better hypertension screening and control, especially in diabetic patients, to minimise the burden of the dual epidemic.