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Excessive Salt Consumption Leading To High Blood Pressure Cases In Mumbai, Finds BMC Study

A scientific study conducted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on over 5,000 residents of Mumbai has found out that on average, they consume 8.9 gram of salt daily which is much higher than the healthy level of 5 gram recommended by the World Health Organisation.

As a result of such high level of salt consumption, every third Mumbaikar in the 18-69 age group has got high blood pressure, found the highly scientific STEP survey conducted by the BMC.

According to BMC Health Commissioner Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, the preliminary analysis showed that 34% residents of Mumbai have hypertension which could be linked to excessive salt consumption. Hypertension has emerged as one of the biggest reasons for deaths and BMC is in the process of setting up a comprehensive public health plan to tackle it, confirmed Dr. Kumar.

Dr. Mangala Gomare, the Executive Health Officer at BMC, said that high blood pressure cases have been prevalent in Mumbai. If left untreated, they can lead to strokes and even heart attacks.

BMC’s health team has revealed a three-level plan to address the situation. First of all, the community health workers will conduct a door-to-door screening for hypertension in slum and slum-like pockets. According to Dr. Gomare, they will also dedicate a corner for non-communicable diseases in major hospitals to check the blood pressure of every registered patient and also of those who accompany them.

BMC in the next 1-1.5 months will also set-up small clinics in the form of ‘porta cabins’ in slums. Polyclinics will also be set-up in some of BMC’s existing dispensaries for free check-up and treatment. As per Dr. Kumar, their goal is to screen people who are above 30 years of age in the city for hypertension.

People with the harmful levels of blood pressure will be sent to civic doctors for medication. Deputy Executive Health Officer of BMC, Dr. Daksha Shah, revealed that they have begun a lifestyle intervention programme for hypertension and diabetes patients. “Between November 2021 and June 2022, we counselled over 12,000 patients with help of dieticians,” she said.

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