Nearly 23 per cent urban population of four city corporations in the country are suffering from hypertension, a common risk factor amongst the city dwellers that leads to several life-threatening complications.
The four cities are– Narayanganj, Cumilla, Mymensingh, and Rangpur.
The study was titled ‘Hypertension and Obesity Load in Bangladesh: How Large is the Iceberg?’. Findings of the study were unveiled at a scientific seminar at a city hotel on Thursday.
The prevalence of hypertension is higher among men 24 per cent, than women 22 per cent, said the study. Meanwhile, 14 per cent of people are also at higher risk of being hypertensive, according to the study.
Nearly 41 million people die each year from Non-Communicable Diseases (NDCs). Hypertension and Obesity are among the major chronic NCDs with life-threatening consequences and have become global public health concerns.
The study was conducted under the ‘Strengthening Urban Public Health System Project’ implemented by Save the Children in Bangladesh and South Asia Field Epidemiology and Technology Network (Safetynet), Bangladesh with assistance from US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC).
A total of 48,644 participants were screened to measure their blood pressure, height, and weight to calculate hypertension status and BMI status for the study.
Among the campaign participants, the prevalence of obesity is 8.0 per cent, while almost 28 per cent of participants are overweight (i.e., at high risk of being obese). Prevalence of Obesity was higher for female participants (10 per cent) compared to male participants (7 per cent).
After dissemination of the study findings, a certificate awarding ceremony was held marking the successful completion of one-year long “Applied Epidemiology and Public Health Management Fellowship Course.”
A total of 26 participants – 11 Health Officers of 12 City Corporations and 15 Public Health Epidemiologists appointed by Save the Children in all city corporations – took part in the rigorous training.
The Strengthening Urban Public Health System Project is being implemented in 12 city corporations of the country with an aim to enhance the capacity of the city corporation health force so that they can make strong public health decisions and prioritize public health issues.
Through this project, a new cadre of ‘Public Health Epidemiologist’ has also been introduced into the city corporation health department as a first step in addressing an unmet public health leadership need.
The study suggested that community-based screening should be carried out for early detection of hypertension and obesity status, and it should be scaled up in other city corporations, even in rural areas as well.