Life expectancy in India has increased but NCDs remain a concern

As per the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2016 data released through the Lancet today, over 6 million deaths have occurred due to NCDs in the country in 2016. The two largest increases were seen in diabetes and chronic kidney disease

Life expectancy in India has increased but NCDs remain a concern

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2016 data released today reveals that Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and injuries continue to be the main cause of death among people of all age-groups in India.

Though the life expectancy has been steadily growing over the past decade, recent data shows that India still suffers from some major disease burdens like ischemic heart disease, pulmonary disorders, cerebrovascular disease and chronic kidney disease.

When asked about what is needed to tackle the burden of non-communicable diseases, Dr Prakash Marathe, President of Indian Medical Association, Pune branch, said, “These are the chronic diseases and so needs a long term policy to tackle this. Also, this is regarded as white collar disease and so it is unattended by government. Government needs to do policy formation on this.”

He added, “The youth are living in the virtual world and that is why things like suicides are becoming one of the major causes of death in this country. India has progressed on life expectancy, but we are yet to achieve what the West has achieved,” he added.

Commenting on the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2016 data, Dr Vivekanand Jha, Executive Director, The George Institute for Global Health said, “As per the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2016 data released through the Lancet today, over 6 million deaths have occurred due to NCDs in the country in 2016. The two largest increases were seen in diabetes and chronic kidney disease.”

A very important section of the Indians are adolescents and youth. This section forms a huge chunk of our population and their concerns and issues need to be heard and addressed.

The GBD 2016 data revealed that self-harm continues to be the largest cause of death among people in the age group of 10 to 24 years.

Road injuries, drowning, ischemic heart disease and interpersonal violence form some of the other major reasons for mortality among this age group.

Further analysis of the data shows that risk factor management is a key area of focus and needs immediate attention at the highest level.

High blood pressure, dietary risks, tobacco, cholesterol and body mass index are some of the top contributors to most deaths and disabilities combined in India.