Gandhi’s blood pressure record to be made public

Mahatma Gandhi’s blood pressure data is set to be made public by the Indian Council of Medical Research.

This is being planned by the apex medical research agency to be a part of the 150th commemorative issue of the Indian Journal of Clinical Research on Gandhi and Health, slated to be released shortly. The commemorative issue will have a theme of Gandhi and Health.

“The Father of the Nation had hypertension and was on treatment. We will publish tables to show how doctors managed his blood pressure,” ICMR director general Balram Bhargava said here on Wednesday.

Addressing a conference on the release of state-wise disease burden data, Bhargava said necessary permissions have been obtained from the Gandhi Museum and other agencies that keep the records related to Mahatma Gandhi.

Unlike the West, there’s no tradition of making medical records of leaders public in India. But some of the medical records of world leaders do make interesting reading.

“Dwight D Eisenhower had a blood pressure of 340. It is often being said that the World War-II may not have taken place had Eisenhower had normal blood pressure,” said Bhargava, a former professor of cardiology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here.

During the World War-II, Eisenhower was a five-star general in the US Army and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe. After the war, he became the 34th President of the United States from 1953 to 1961.

ICMR also takes a cue from Gandhiji’s 1930 Dandi March while launching its upcoming salt reduction campaign. The campaign will be called Mutthi Se Chutki Tak in reference to Gandhi’s 390 km long march to pick up a handful of salt for the independence and the modern day requirement to reduce salt intake in order to get rid of hypertension, Bhargava said.


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