All India Institute of Medical Sciences (File photo/ANI)
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (File photo/ANI)

AIIMS study reveals 70% elders down with hypertension in posh South Delhi locality

Priyanka Sharma | Updated: Oct 20, 2019 14:06 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 20 (ANI): In one of its longest and biggest researches ever planned, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is conducting the first-ever study to investigate the factors responsible for stroke, dementia and cognitive dysfunction among residents of South Delhi who are 50 years of age and above.
The unique feature of this study is that the participants will be followed up till their lifetime which may run up to 50 years and even beyond.
The project called 'Indo-Dutch Cohort Study' is being carried out by AIIMS with an estimated sample size of 15,000 participants (7500 from urban and 7500 from rural) in collaboration with Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
"It is one of the biggest studies in India. Initially, the Government of India had agreed to fund this study only for present population enrolled in the study until their death. It is most likely that the government will take it further till the participant's third generation," said Dr Sachin Kumar, investigator of the study.
From Urban area, South Delhi's Vasant Kunj has been considered wherein a total of 7504 persons have been enrolled in the study. Similarly, from rural areas, about 1466 from Ballabgarh (Haryana) have been included in the study.
"This study was started in 2014 and it is still ongoing. This study is unique in every aspect as there is no present data of dietary habits, MRI records, DNA genotyping of the target population," informed Dr Sachin.
For this, medical professionals would visit the residents of the vicinity, educate them about healthy lifestyle, take their consent and provide all kind of transportation facility till AIIMS for the study.
The preliminary findings of the study done on the population of Vasant Kunj area have revealed that 70 per cent elderly suffer from hypertension, out of which 30 per cent of them were unaware of their disease.
Also, 40 per cent of the participants were found to be diabetic, in which 30 per cent did not know that they were diabetic.
About 30 per cent of participants suffered from high cholesterol and 22 per cent were diagnosed with anxiety and stress disorder.
"So far, we have been estimating from the data available from the West. We are following the lines of Framingham Heart Study (FHS), which is the longest-running study of the world which is currently in its 71st year. It was started by the US Public Health Service," Dr Kameshwar Prasad, professor of neurology and Chief Indo-Dutch AIIMS Cohort study told ANI.
"The information generated from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) has helped the US government of formulating policies to prevent deaths due to non-communicable diseases. It is the investigators estimate that more than four lakh American deaths are prevented per year," he added.
"Now, at AIIMS we are also doing a similar kind of study which is called Indo- Dutch Longitudinal Cognitive and Ageing Research in Population of NCR Cohort study. In this, we are studying the DNA using genome-wide association study," he further stated.
Dr Prasad also revealed that blood samples and isolated DNA have been collected and MRI brain scan has been conducted for the majority of participants.
"This has benefitted more than 6000 individuals in the form of awareness of their conditions like undetected risk factors of stroke, dementia and detection of unrecognized deficiency of thyroid, vitamin B12 and Vitamin D etc. In some persons, life-threatening conditions have been detected and treated before the development of any symptoms," Dr Prasad said.
All participants have undergone a detailed health examination including a blood test, electrocardiography, magnetic resonance imaging, a carotid Doppler test, and echocardiography, as well as a psychometric test.
"In future, updates about the health of the participants will be obtained from telephone follow-ups every six months and physical check-ups every three years," an AIIMS doctor said. (ANI)