Nearly 60 percent of the widows residing in Vrindavan’s ashrams have problems of increased sugar and high blood pressure, revealed a survey here on Sunday.

According to the survey, most of the widows are above 50 years of age and had their blood pressure level above the normal mark (120/80 to 140/90).

“Majority of the widows had their blood pressure level around 174/97, 189/93, 159/99 and so on which clearly states that they have hypertension problems,” said the survey, part of a free health medical camp organised by Polo Foundation, an NGO working in health and education, in collaboration with Sulabh International, which has been looking after social welfare of nearly 800 widows in the Hindu holy town in Uttar Pradesh.

According to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, one third of India’s population is likely to suffer from hypertension by 2020, with around 20 per cent of the rural populace too a victim.

Experts said that hypertension is on the verge of becoming an “epidemic” and every person with a blood pressure count of 140/90 is considered to be in the hypertensive category.

During the medical checkups it was also found that the widows have increased sugar levels, ranging from 169 to 225, against the normal blood sugar range of 90-160.

Among other problems found to be common among them were depression, and issues related to oral hygiene due to use of tobacco, pan and betel nuts.