Lifestyle triggers major shift in disease burden across India: report

Lifestyle diseases like heart ailments, diabetes and injuries constitute the major disease burden of most Indian states in the last 25 years.

A clear shift is visible in the pattern of the common disease during this period.

Earlier, communicable diseases, mother and child health and nutritional deficiency represented the bulk of the disease burden. A comparison of the health parameters between 1990 and 2016 as depicted in the India Disease Burden report — demonstrates how the situation has changed on the ground.

“Now non-communicable diseases constitute nearly 25% of the disease burden in the states. High blood pressure, blood sugar and physical inactivity are the major risk factors,” Soumya Swaminathan, director general of Indian Council of Medical Research told DH.

Swaminathan and her colleagues are part of the India State-level Disease Burden Initiative along with researchers from the Public Health Foundation of India and a large number of research institutes. A summary of the report has been published in the Lancet on Tuesday.

On a national scale, the report shows, there are major health inequalities among states irrespective of the improvements in the last 25 years. Under-5 mortality rate, for instance, showed a four-fold difference among states, though all of them had improved on their 1990 positions.

The contribution of injuries to the total disease burden has increased in most states since 1990, affecting the young adults (15-39 years of age) the maximum. Road injuries and suicides are the leading contributors to the injury burden in India.

Life expectancy

Life expectancy at birth improved in India from 59.7 years in 1990 to 70.3 years in 2016 for females, and from 58.3 years to 66.9 years for males.

There were, however, continuing inequalities among states, ranging from 66.8 years in Uttar Pradesh to 78.7 years in Kerala for females, and 63.6 years in Assam to 73.8 years in Kerala for males in 2016.

The per person disease burden dropped by 36% from 1990 to 2016. However, there was an almost two-fold difference in this disease burden rate among the states in 2016, with Assam, Uttar Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh having the highest rates, and Kerala and Goa the lowest rates.

Source: DH

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