Lifestyle triggers major shift in disease burden across India

A traffic policeman wearing an anti-pollution mask mans traffic amid smog and air pollution in New Delhi on Monday. | PTI

A traffic policeman wearing an anti-pollution mask mans traffic amid smog and air pollution in New Delhi on Monday. | PTI

The highest rate was recorded in Assam and Uttar Pradesh compared to the lowest in Kerala previous year.

"Household air pollution was responsible for 5 per cent of the total disease burden in India in 2016, and outdoor air pollution for 6 per cent", the report stated.

Some of the more prosperous states like Goa, Tamil Nadu and Kerala contribute the largest share of NCDs.

To highlight this, the gap between the highest life expectancy in an Indian state and the lowest life expectancy now is 11 years, and the difference between the state with the highest infant mortality rate and lowest rate is 4 fold.

The contribution of injuries to the total disease burden has increased in most states since 1990.

The medical experts led by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) who conducted the study found some causes of death and disability such as diarrhea and other communicable diseases have declined but others, especially heart disease - which is closely linked to air pollution and smoking - has increased significantly in the country, CSE researchers said reacting to the study. He said, this report, along with the technical scientific paper and the open-access visualization tool that are also released today, together provide systematic insights in to the health status of each state and the health inequalities between the states of India.

The report says that there is rising burden of non-communicable diseases in all states.

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Child and maternal malnutrition was India's largest risk factor for health loss in 2016, leading to 15% of the total disease burden of the country, a study released on Tuesday showed.

The good news is life expectancy at birth jumping 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.

Of the total disease burden in India in 1990, a tenth was caused by a group of risks including unhealthy diet, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and overweight. Till now, we have not had this systematic and complete compilation of the burden of all diseases and the risk factors behind them for every state of the country in a single framework.

Road injuries and self-harm, which includes suicides and non-fatal outcomes of self-harm, are the leading contributors to the injury burden in India.

In 2016, three of the five leading causes of disease burden in India were non-communicable, with ischaemic heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as the top two causes. It dropped to 33% in 2016. Worse, this health crisis is characterised by widening disparity between India's relatively more prosperous and poorer states and can potentially impair its demographic dividend. The report also analysed change in mortality rates due to the changes in medical advancements - across Indian states. He suggested that generation of such comprehensive estimates for each district.

This knowledge base can be a crucial aid for more informed policy and interventions to improve population health in every state and union territory of India and in reducing health inequalities between the states.

Infectious and associated diseases made up the majority of disease burden in most of the states in 1990, but this was less than half in all states in 2016. It also stated that strategies will need to be implemented to tackle environmental risk factors such as outdoor air pollution.

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