Survey under Hypertension Control Programme: 42% industrial workers in Ludhiana obese, 23% suffering from hypertension

Published on Oct 01, 2022 12:39 AM IST

“Peculiarly, 80 % of the industrial workers in Ludhiana learnt for the first time that they suffer from hypertension and 50 % were not aware that they had diabetes. Almost all the obese workers remained in denial mode about their health,” Dr Mohan said.

Dr Bishav Mohan from DMC Hero Heart Centre, while addressing the gathering in Ludhiana, said 25,000 industrial workers, including male and female— aged above 30 years, were screened for hypertension, diabetes and their body mass index was measured. (Harvinder Singh/HT)
Dr Bishav Mohan from DMC Hero Heart Centre, while addressing the gathering in Ludhiana, said 25,000 industrial workers, including male and female— aged above 30 years, were screened for hypertension, diabetes and their body mass index was measured. (Harvinder Singh/HT)
ByMohit Khanna, Ludhiana

As many as 42% of the total industrial workers in the district are suffering from obesity and are at risk of heart attack, while 23 % are suffering from hypertension and 8% from diabetes, as per the recent findings of Hypertension Control Programme being conducted under the India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI).

Sharing details on World Heart Day, senior cardiologist from Hero DMC Heart Institute Dr Bishav Mohan said 25,000 people, including male and female— aged above 30 years, were screened for hypertension, diabetes and their body mass index was measured.

“Peculiarly, 80 % of the workers learnt for the first time that they suffer from hypertension and 50 % were not aware that they had diabetes. Almost all the obese workers remained in denial mode about their health. During the study, it was found out that 75% of industrial workers were visiting private clinics, hospitals and nursing homes while only 25% were visiting dispensaries and government health facilities for treatment,” said Dr Mohan.

He said the programme was currently in progress and aimed to screen 50,000 people.

“During the screening, we encountered several roadblocks. It was found out the majority of the workers were reluctant to visit ESI health facility due to long waiting hours and complained that it took them two days to get their health check-up- done,” said Dr Mohan, who is coordinating the programme in Ludhiana.

He said, “It is a common misconception that industrial workers do not suffer from stress, but in contradiction, they work under immense pressure for long hours and that too under high pollution levels, which adds to their health issues. Also, job insecurity, low wages, rising household budget, increasing expenses of education of children and healthcare contribute to their stress level,” added Dr Mohan.

Can’t afford apple, workers opting for cheaper samosas

Opting for unhealthy food items is one of the major causes of obesity among industrial workers. Many of the industrial workers was found eating food from roadside eateries near the industrial units and samosa was among the most preferred items. “It was found out that apples and mainly all fruit items were beyond the reach of industrial workers and more of a luxury item for them. While the humble samosa came out cheaper than apple, our teams conducted the survey around the industrial area and found that unhealthy fried food was cheaper than the healthier options including fruits,” Dr Mohan.

He added that during the survey, it was found that 17 % of the obese industrial workers were alcoholic and among them, 15 % consumed tobacco.

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