The increasing burden of non communicable diseases in India

The increasing burden of non communicable diseases in India

The researchers divided India's states into four groups according to their level of development or epidemiological transition, using the ratio of illness and premature death caused by communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases (CMNNDs) versus non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries as an indicator.

"The burden due to NCDs and injuries (from 9% to 12% between 1990 and 2016) has overtaken the burden due to infectious and maternal-child diseases in every state of India, though this happened in some states about 3 decades ago and in other states more recently".

Kerala, Goa, and Tamil Nadu-relatively prosperous states-have the largest share of NCDs such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, mental health and neurological disorders, cancers, musculoskeletal disorders and chronic kidney disease. There were, however, continuing inequalities between states, with a range of 66.8 years in Uttar Pradesh to 78.7 years in Kerala for females, and from 63.6 years in Assam to 73.8 years in Kerala for males in 2016.

India's latest and most comprehensive health report card released on Tuesday has highlighted some worrying facts about Telangana.

The India State-level Disease Burden Initiative is a collaboration between the Indian Council of Medical Research, Public Health Foundation of India, and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, and experts and stakeholders now from close to 100 institutions across India. However, there was an nearly 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.

"Many Indian states are bigger than most countries in the world. The range of disease burden or DALY rate varied three-fold for road injuries and six-fold for self-harm among the states of India in 2016", said the report.

It said the contribution of most of the major non-communicable disease groups to the total disease burden had increased all over India since 1990.

Meanwhile, unsafe water and sanitation, which was the second-leading risk responsible for disease burden in 1990, dropped to the seventh position in 2016.

The report states that India has made substantial gains in health since 1990, with the overall health loss from all diseases and conditions about one-third less per person in 2016.

"The per person burden from numerous leading infectious and non-communicable diseases varies 5-10 times between different States and malnutrition continues to be the single largest risk for health loss in India, which is higher among females and is particularly severe in the empowered action group States and Assam", noted the report. Kerala had the lowest burden due to this risk among the Indian states, but even this was 2.7 times higher per person than in China. Air pollution and tobacco smoking continue to be major contributors to health loss.

Even though Delhi has now been facing a deteriorating quality of air due to pollution, it faces a marginally lower health risks, when compared to states like Bihar.

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