Report shows that communicable diseases constitute almost two-thirds of the disease burden in India.
Malnutrition is still the single largest risk factor responsible for 15% of the total disease burden in India in 2016, noted the report. The leading individual cause of death in India in 2016 was ischaemic heart disease.
The report studies the period from 1990 to 2016 and shows that communicable diseases constitute almost two-thirds of the disease burden in India from a little over a third in 1990. Despite the transition, which is associated with development, malnutrition remains the single top risk for health loss.
“While the disease burden due to child and maternal malnutrition has dropped in India substantially since 1990, this is still the single largest risk factor responsible for 15% of the total disease burden in India in 2016,” noted the report.
Diarrhoea, TB among top causes of death along with road injuries
The disease burden due to child and maternal malnutrition in India was 12 times higher per person than in China in 2016. Kerala had the lowest burden due to this risk among the Indian states, but even this was 2.7 times higher per person than in China. The leading individual cause of death in India in 2016 was ischaemic heart disease, the death rate from which was twice as much as the next leading cause.
But there were wide variations with the highest death rate among the states from this disease being 12 times the lowest.
The other non-communicable diseases (NCD) in the top 10 individual causes of death included chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), stroke, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease.
Communicable diseases such as diarrhoeal diseases, lower respiratory infections, and tuberculosis, and road injuries and suicides were also in the top 10 causes of death. The death rates from diarrhoeal diseases and tuberculosis were also higher in the least developed states and had a 12-fold and seven-fold variation in rates, respectively, between states.
The least developed states that recently transitioned are having to grapple with having a higher burden of NCDs while they continue to have a high burden of infectious and maternal child diseases, the report pointed out.
The India States Disease Burden Initiative is a joint initiative of Indian Council of Medical Research, Public Health Foundation of India and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in collaboration with Union health ministry.