Taking bold steps to tackle NCDs

Publication: Biospectrum
Posted on: February 23. 2017

Link:  http://www.biospectrumindia.com/biospecindia/features/224760/taking-bold-steps-tackle-ncds

India is first country to develop targets, indicators to reduce global premature deaths from NCDs by 25 per cent by 2025

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) affect all age groups. But the WHO report that “16 million of all deaths attributed to non-communicable diseases occur before the age of 70. Of these “premature” deaths, 82 per cent occurred in low and middle income countries. Children, adults and the elderly are all vulnerable to the risk factors” throw out the assumption that the ailment is often associated with older age groups.

NCDs are defined as chronic diseases that are not passed from person to person. They are characterised by slow progression and long duration. The four main types of NCDs are cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke), cancer, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes. These four diseases are largely caused by behavioural risk factors like tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and alcohol use. Additional risk factors like obesity, high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol and blood glucose are tied to lifestyle choices.

According to Dr Sushil Shah, Chairman and Founder, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd., “United Nations has projected the population in India to grow to 1.45 billion, with 168 million people in the senior age group by 2026. Keeping in mind these statistics, it is imperative that we start nurturing the healthier population right now. While medical professionals are struggling with curing and eradicating communicable diseases, the burden of non-communicable and lifestyle-induced diseases has increased to 60 per cent. India is estimated to lose USD4.8 trillion between 2012 and 2030 due to non-communicable disorders. It is therefore critical for India to transform its healthcare sector”

India: Facts & Figures
“Cancer, diabetes and heart disease account for 55 per cent of premature mortality of India in the age group of 30-69 years. One in four Indians face the risk of death from an NCD before they hit the age of 70,” states global status report on NCDs by WHO. The report also states, “NCDs contributed to 5.8 million deaths, accounting for 60 per cent of all deaths in India”.