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60 pc of Indians die of non-communicable diseases

New Delhi, Dec 18, 2014, DHNS 0:42 IST
More than 60 per cent of deaths in India are caused by non-communicable diseases while TB snuffs out the lives of the younger generation in their most productive age, found a new study that examines 240 known causes of deaths worldwide.DH Illustration
More than 60 per cent of deaths in India are caused by non-communicable diseases while TB snuffs out the lives of the younger generation in their most productive age, found a new study that examines 240 known causes of deaths worldwide.

Compared to the situation two decades ago, suicide and road accidents now figure prominently as the two important causes of deaths while infant deaths have come down considerably. Ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (lung disorders), and stroke account for 30 per cent of all deaths India in 2013. If the death count from hypertensive heart diseases and diabetes are added to the tally, it clearly shows that non communicable diseases are the biggest killer, accounting for 61 per cent of deaths in India.

“The trend is consistent with other findings. It shows the area where the maximum number of deaths will happen,” Jeemon Panniyammakal, assistant professor at Public Health Foundation of India, told Deccan Herald.

While tuberculosis and heart attacks are the top two causes of death for people between the ages of 15 and 49 in 2013, among individuals of 70 years and old, ischemic heart disease claimed the most lives, says the study published in the December 18 issue of the Lancet. Compared to the 1990 scenario, hypertensive heart disease and suicide took more lives in 2013 with deaths increasing by 138 and 129 per cent respectively.

Mortality from road injuries too shot up by 88 per cent between 1990 and 2013.
On the positive side, pre-term birth complications, neonatal encephalopathy and other neonatal disorders no longer figure among the top ten killers in India as was the situation two decades ago. “It happened because of the improvement in the public health care system,” said Nobhojit Roy, professor at BARC hospital, Mumbai. “The death analysis reflects India in transition. On one hand, there are malaria deaths are on the wane due to better mosquito control while the deaths due to non communicable diseases are increasing because of lifestyle factors,” Roy said.

In India, the average life expectancy for women was 68.5 years in 2013, with men living an average of 64.2 years. By contrast, women lived an average of 58.2 years and men had a life expectancy of 57.3 years in 1990.

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