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NEW DELHI: Lifestyle diseases like heart and chronic respiratory diseases now kill more people than communicable ones like tubercolosis or diarrhoea in every state in India, including the most backward. This was revealed in the India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative’s Report released on Tuesday.
The report notes that while all states have thus made what’s called the ‘epidemiological transition’ there remain wide variations in their disease profiles with some having made that transition as early as 1986, and others as recently as 2010.
The first group to make the transition in 1986 included Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. The last group to do so, accounting for the highest number of people (588 million), made the transition almost a quarter of a century later, in 2010. This group included Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Odisha. India as a country made the transition in 2003.
The report studies the period from 1990 to 2016 and shows that communicable diseases constitute almost two-thirds of the disease burden in India from a little over a third in 1990. Despite the transition, which is associated with development, malnutrition remains the single top risk for health loss.
“While the disease burden due to child and maternal malnutrition has dropped in India substantially since 1990, this is still the single largest risk factor responsible for 15% of the total disease burden in India in 2016,” noted the report.
Diarrhoea, TB among top causes of death along with road injuries
The disease burden due to child and maternal malnutrition in India was 12 times higher per person than in China in 2016. 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. The leading individual cause of death in India in 2016 was ischaemic heart disease, the death rate from which was twice as much as the next leading cause.
But there were wide variations with the highest death rate among the states from this disease being 12 times the lowest.
The other non-communicable diseases (NCD) in the top 10 individual causes of death included chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), stroke, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease.
Communicable diseases such as diarrhoeal diseases, lower respiratory infections, and tuberculosis, and road injuries and suicides were also in the top 10 causes of death. The death rates from diarrhoeal diseases and tuberculosis were also higher in the least developed states and had a 12-fold and seven-fold variation in rates, respectively, between states.
The least developed states that recently transitioned are having to grapple with having a higher burden of NCDs while they continue to have a high burden of infectious and maternal child diseases, the report pointed out.
The India States Disease Burden Initiative is a joint initiative of Indian Council of Medical Research, Public Health Foundation of India and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in collaboration with Union health ministry.