18September2018

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Ischemic heart disease, diabetes emerge as biggest killers in India

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Rohit Shishodia              
Non-communicable diseases such as ischemic heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic obstructive lung disease and diabetes have increased across India in alarming proportions in the last 26 years.

India's State-Level Disease Burden Initiative Report released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has revealed that the incidence of ischemic heart disease and stroke increased in India by over 50% from 1990 to 2016.

The report highlighted that rates of increase in ischemic heart disease and diabetes has been the highest in the less developed states of India, where the burden of chronic obstructive lung disease and infectious conditions is already high.

The report reveals that the number of persons with diabetes in India has increased from 26 million in 1990 to 65 million in 2016. The number of cases of chronic obstructive lung disease in India has increased from 28 million to 55 million in the same period. Deaths among these cases is twice as high in the less developed states than in the more developed states.

The proportional contribution of cancers to the total health loss in India has doubled from 1990 to 2016, but the incidence of different types of cancers varies widely between states.

Professor Balram Bhargava, DG, ICMR, has said that while it is known that NCDs have been increasing in India, a major finding of concern is that the highest rate of increase in ischemic heart disease and diabetes is in the less developed Indian states.

Dr Bhargava added that these states already have a high burden of chronic obstructive lung diseases and of a range of infectious and childhood diseases. Therefore, the control of NCDs in these states has to be boosted without delay, he said.

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