Ischemic heart disease is the top killer across most states
Urbanisation, Aging Population Pose Major Challenge
New Delhi: The first ever comprehensive estimate on state-wise burden of diseases brings out the wide variation in disease profile, burden and risk factors of the various states, many of them bigger than most countries in the world. From diarrhoea being the top killer in a couple of states to Alzheimer, a corollary of higher life expectancy, making it to a state’s leading causes of death the variation between states is huge.
While all states have transitioned to a disease profile where non-communicable diseases account for the largest share of diseases, barring Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa, diarrhoea, a disease of gross underdevelopment, is still among the top killers in every state. Another communicable disease, tuberculosis too continues to figure among the top killers in most states barring the southern states, and Goa and Punjab where it is diabetes which has climbed into the list of top killers.
What is uniform across almost all states is that ischemic heart disease is the top killer except in Assam where it is stroke and in Odisha and Jharkhand where it is diarrhoea. Overall disease burden by diabetes rose the highest in the country, by 174% in the last 26 years, followed by the burden of heart disease which rose by 104%. Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Haryana saw very high death rate from road injuries even if they did not figure among the top killers in these states.
“The findings show that the overall disease burden per person in some states of India is almost twice as much as in some other states, and the burden rate due to the leading diseases ranges five to ten times between the states,” said vice president Venkaiah Naidu on the occa- sion of the report launch.
The report identifies two factors that will pose a major challenge to the Indian health system in the coming decades — urbanisation and ageing of the population. All states have started seeing the effects of these two factors and many will see an acceleration of these as unplanned urbanisation picks up pace and life expectancy increases coupled with reduced cases of early deaths.
It remains to be seen how India and its states will cope with these looming challenges.