Patients with hypertension at high risk of diabetes: Study

Bangla Tribune Desk
Published : 16:40, May 17, 2019 | Updated : 18:09, May 18, 2019

People in rural Bangladesh may have a higher risk of stroke. GMB Akash/icddr,bOne in every four people with high blood pressure or hypertension is highly vulnerable to developing diabetes, says a multi-country study, revealing that around 23 percent of hypertensive individuals in Bangladesh’s rural communities are experiencing the chronic disease.
The multi-country study is being conducted since 2016 with icddr,b, based on analysis of about 2,500 hypertensive individuals’ data from rural areas in three countries – Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, according to an icddr,b webpost.
Revealing the recent findings of the study published in Journal of Obesity, head of the Initiative for Non-Communicable Diseases at icddr,b Dr Aliya Naheed said about 23 percent of hypertensive people living in the Bangladesh’s rural areas were found experiencing diabetes, reports BSS.
Additionally, she shared, around 24 percent were found with borderline diabetes (prediabetes), which indicates that about 47 percent of the people living with hypertension are at a high risk of developing complications related to diabetes.
The researchers defined prediabetes as fasting plasma glucose (FPG) between 100 and 125?mg per decilitre (dL) without use of anti-diabetic treatment and diabetes as FPG 126?mg/dL or use of anti-diabetic medication.
The estimate in Bangladesh is lower than that in Sri Lanka where individuals had the highest crude prevalence of ‘prediabetes or diabetes’ (73.1 percent) with hypertension, but higher than that in Pakistan (39.2 percent).
“Our research also found that the risk of developing diabetes is higher with individuals who are aged, have more education, or better socioeconomic status,” said Dr Naheed.
She said it was interesting to observe that those with a greater waist (bigger tummy) had a higher possibility of developing diabetes along with hypertension. “This was not detected when a hypertensive patient had a higher body mass index (BMI), which is commonly used for measuring obesity and overweight,” she added.
The icddr,b researcher suggested that the people with hypertension should be physically more active when they find their tummy size is increasing.
She emphasised the roles of community health workers and media for increasing public awareness about self-screening of waist circumference and promotion of lifestyle modifications for reducing the risk of diabetes among the hypertensive patients.
Dr Naheed also stressed the need for taking urgent measures to integrate diabetes screening and control within hypertension management programmes in the rural Bangladesh and other countries in the South Asia.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that diabetes prevalence has been growing fast in the middle- and low-income countries.