Burden of disease shifts to non-communicable ailments

Shift from infectious diseases spurred by unhealthy diets, pollution, high blood pressure

Updated - November 15, 2017 01:10 am IST

Published - November 14, 2017 10:11 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Health care and time medications. Vector illustration.

Health care and time medications. Vector illustration.

The ‘India State Level Disease Burden’ report, prepared as part of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study 2016, and published in Lancet, has found that every State in India has a higher burden from non-communicable diseases and injuries than from infectious diseases. The study used multiple data sources to map State-level disease burden from 333 disease conditions and injuries, and 83 risk factors for each State from 1990 to 2016. It was released by Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu here on Tuesday.

“The contribution of non-communicable diseases to health loss — fuelled by unhealthy diets, high blood pressure, and blood sugar — has doubled in India over the past two decades. Air pollution and tobacco smoking continue to be major contributors to health loss. However, the extent of these risk factors varies considerably across the States of India,” said Dr. K. Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India, one of the partners of the India State-level Disease Burden Initiative (ISDBI).

The estimates are based on analysis of all identifiable epidemiological data from India over 25 years. The report, which provides the first comprehensive set of state-level disease burden data, risk factors estimates, and trends for each state in India, is expected to inform health planning with a view toward reducing health inequalities among States.

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, director-general ICMR and Secretary, Health Research, Government of India, who closely guided the work of the ISDBI, said: “The effort was to produce an open-access, public good knowledge base, which has the potential of making fundamental and long-term contributions to improving health in every state of the country, through provision of the best possible composite trends of disease burden and risk factors for policy makers to utilise in their decision making.”

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