Lifestyle disorders growing in India, prevalent among 35+ age group

By Express News Service
BENGALURU: India’s Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) burden is growing at an alarming rate, with the average age for onset falling sharply, stated the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) report.

The apex trade association of the country, as part of its ‘Illness to Wellness’ campaign, on Friday unveiled the country’s “largest” primary healthcare survey report, on the rising burden of NCDs.

The report, titled ‘Non-Communicable Diseases in India’ has been prepared by Thought Arbitrage Research Institute (TARI). The survey covered 2,33,672 people and 673 public health offices in 21 states, to analyse rising cases of NCDs in the country, and the social profile of suffering households. “It is observed that India’s NCDs increase after 18 years and show a quantum leap when an individual crosses the age of 35 years. Hypertension, digestive diseases and diabetes are among the top three most prevalent NCDs; Cancer is the least prevalent,” the report stated.

The survey found that environmental factors are the biggest cause of NCDs, followed by inactive lifestyle and imbalanced diet; intoxication (alcohol and tobacco consumption). The Assocham-TARI report found that more than two-thirds of individuals suffering from NCDs are in the most productive life age group — between 26 and 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 per cent of the country’s population is below 35 years of age.

According to the report, the prevalence of NCDs in India is 116 per 1,000 population, and shows a quantum jump among individuals above 35 years of age. NCDs are preventable and with changes in lifestyle, dietary habits and increase in physical activities, among others, its prevalence can be reduced/checked.

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 per cent in the 1970s in urban areas, to 10-20 per cent in 2020. Cases of diabetes are even higher in metros, at 35-40 per cent.”

Speaking about the neurological aspects of NCD, Prof (Dr) Rajinder K Dhamija, head of Neurology department, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, said, “Cases of stroke have grown four times in the past 30 years. ”