India’s NCDs burden growing at an alarming rate: ASSOCHAM

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Prevalence of NCDs in India is 116 per 1000 population; shows a quantum jump among individuals above 35 years of age

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) as part of its ‘Illness to Wellness’ campaign unveiled India’s largest primary healthcare survey report on the rising burden of non-communicable diseases in the county followed by a virtual panel discussion on July 22, 2021.

The report titled “Non-Communicable Diseases in India” covered 2,33,672 people and 673 public health offices in 21 states, to analyse the rising cases of NCDs in the country and the social profile of suffering households. Prepared by Thought Arbitrage Research Institute (TARI), the survey report observed that India’s non-communicable disease burden is growing at an alarming rate with the average age for onset falling sharply. It reported that NCDs increase after 18 years and show a quantum leap when an individual crosses the age of 35 years. It found that more than 2/3 of the individuals suffering from NCDs are in the most productive-life age groups i.e., between 26-59 years. This is an alarming trend and points to the grim reality that the burden of NCDs on India is long-lasting given that 65% of the country’s population is below 35 years of age.

The panelists agreed that NCDs are preventable and with changes in lifestyle, dietary habits, and increase in physical activities among others its prevalence can be reduced/checked. Panelists further stressed on the need to take necessary preventive actions for early detection and treatment if conditions of specific NCDs are setting in and towards this strengthen the country’s existing healthcare system to make it accessible to all.

Calling diabetes an overpowering non-communicable disease, Dr. Ambrish Mittal, Chairman and Head, Endocrinology and Diabetes Department, Max Healthcare (Pan Max), said, “Diabetes has risen exponentially in India from 2% in the 1970s in urban areas to between 10-20% in 2020. The cases of diabetes are even higher in metros at 35-40%. This spike is linked to urbanization led by economic development and has been more prevalent in urban areas as compared to rural areas.”

Congratulating ASSOCHAM India for the initiative and exhorting health practitioners and common people to come together in the fight against non-communicable diseases, Padma Bhushan Prof. (Dr.) Shiv Kumar Sarin, Head, Department of Hepatology and Director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi added, “Health practitioners must work together as a cohesive group to mitigate the NCDs. Also, there is a need for all of us to change our attitude towards NCDs to positive health and prevention of the disease. It is possible to live 100 years of a healthy life if we invest in ourselves and embrace good lifestyle habits like 15 minutes of vigorous exercise daily to ensure utilisation of glucose by the muscles besides switching to a healthy and balanced diet.”

The ASSOCHAM webinar was addressed by Mr. Kaushik Dutta, Founder and Co-Director, Thought Arbitrage Research Institute (TARI), and top doctors which included: Padma Bhushan Prof. (Dr.) Shiv Kumar Sarin, Head, Department of Hepatology and Director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi; Padma Bhushan, Dr. K.K. Talwar, Chairman, PSRI Heart Institute, Former (HoD), Cardiology AIIMS, New Delhi and Director, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh; Padma Bhushan, Dr. Ambrish Mittal, Chairman and Head, Endocrinology and Diabetes Department, Max Healthcare (Pan Max); Prof. (Dr.) Rajinder K. Dhamija, Head of Neurology Department, Lady Hardinge Medical College New Delhi; Dr. Shikha Halder, Director and Senior Consultant, Department of Radiation Oncology, BLK-Max Super Speciality Hospitals. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Rajesh Kesari, Founder and Director, Total Care Control.

Healthcarenon-communicable diseases (NCDs)
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