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Sexual, mental health problems are big concerns in India: Report

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Lifestyle-related issues are taking root in tier-II and III cities, but people also show inquisitiveness about preventive measures

Sexual and mental health problems are major health concerns in India and need urgent and timely attention before they get blown out of proportion and become a huge burden, according to Lybrate Healthscape India 2015 report. It also states that people have become relatively vocal to discuss these issues once considered a taboo for public discourse, the tendency to yet not discuss these openly suppresses the real healthcare picture of the country.

Lybrate, India’s online doctor consultation platform, came up with the data after analysing around 50 million interactions that happened on the platform over a period of 12 months.

The report shows that more than half the percentage of people who consulted doctors from Lybrate’s pool of 90,000 doctors reached out to them for issues related to either sexual or mental health. The top seven health issues in the country, the report says, are sexual (32 per cent), mental (21 per cent), lifestyle-related (15 per cent), diet and nutrition (12 per cent), women’s health (11 per cent), skin health (five per cent) and child health (four per cent).

The data reflected that women on the whole were not as proactive as men in consulting doctors about their health problems and the gap was wide across tier-II and III and tier-I cities, except for the age group 18-24 falling in the latter. Besides, younger people in the age group of 18-24, in tier-I cities consulted more about mental health, while those in tier-II and III cities did so for sexual health. The trend illustrated that women need to be made more aware and about their health and that people are getting open to talk about subjects related to sexual and mental health in even cities from tier-II and III , something which must be encouraged.

While lifestyle diseases, especially cardiovascular ailments and hypertension, had been prevalent in tier-I cities, the data shows that these were now taking root in tier-II and III cities owing to change in living habits and this is disturbing. However, the report mentions that people were also inquisitive to know about preventive measures, diet and nutrition and wellbeing.

Among the metros, people in Delhi consulted doctors more about sexual health while those in Mumbai reached out to them for issues related to mental health. In Bangalore, the topmost priority was lifestyle-related issues, but this did not top minds of people in Kolkata which, however, showed that women here were forthcoming about their health issue more any other metros. Also, men in metros paid more attention to lifestyle-related issues compared to women who were rather concerned about diet and nutrition, while sexual health topped minds of both the gender.

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