Incorrect perceptions about the disease before the shutdown has led to patients practising unhealthy lifestyle practices that have worsened their conditions, they added.
During the shutdown, there has been an increase of lifestyle diseases like hypertension, says Dr Spoorthi Arun, Internal Medicine Physician at Promed Hospital, and Director-Clinical Practices at the Indian Society of Lifestyle Medicine.
One of the issues with treating hypertension is adherence to clinical appointments, say doctors, and the lack of access to hospitals and appointments has led to patients being unable to keep tabs on their condition.
Meanwhile, Dr Jagdeesh, general physician, Apollo Hospitals – Greams Road, states that there has been a 30% increase in cases of hypertension in the city. “I have seen patients with worsening conditions like having a stroke or a heart attack during the shutdown. The patients that I am seeing currently are on double their typical medication. One thing that is often not considered is the impact of hypertension on kidneys,” he said.
However, according to Dr Shivarajan Thandeswaran, senior consultant of stroke and neurovascular medicine at Kauvery Hospital, the true impact of the shutdown on patients with hypertension will only be seen in the months to come.