High BP driving heart diseases in India

Heart Tread MillHypertension or high blood pressure has been found to be the most common cardiovascular risk factor in a study of outpatient care in India.

Of the 68,196 patients from 10 cardiology outpatient departments included in the US-led study, hypertension was present in nearly 30 percent patients followed by other risk factors including diabetes, current tobacco use and high cholesterol.

Researchers used the American College of Cardiology’s PINNACLE India Quality Improvement Programme registry to examine performance measures and outline areas for further improvement in cardiovascular care delivery.

The findings suggest that despite challenges, it is feasible to collect and study the quality of outpatient cardiovascular care in a resource-limited environment like India.

“This paper demonstrates the high potential for the American College of Cardiology and the PINNACLE registry to partner with cardiologists and help them improve the quality of outpatient cardiovascular care across the globe,” said one of the study authors William Oetgen, executive vice president of science, education, and quality at the American College of Cardiology, a non-profit medical society.

There is a growing burden of cardiovascular disease in India, but only limited data is available on the quality of outpatient care for patients with coronary artery disease, heart failure and atrial fibrillation.

As the second most populous country in the world, India is experiencing an increase in the more traditional risk factors for coronary artery disease due to a rise in behavioural risk factors, including tobacco use, physical inactivity and poor diet coupled with low levels of awareness, treatment and control of risk factors, the study noted.

The PINNACLE India Quality Improvement Programme is the first cardiovascular disease care data-collection and reporting programme implemented in the country, the researchers said.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.