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By 2020, 7m Indians may...
- Mr. M Kumar N
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Docs Blame It On Lack Of Physical Activity, Obesity, Stress In a little over a decade from now, chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cancer and AIDS would account for over 65% of deaths in India compared to 53% in 2005. By 2020, chronic diseases are expected to claim 7.63 million lives in India, compared to 3.78 million in 1990, a study said. While ailments like leprosy, poliomyelitis and tetanus has been declining due to concerted government efforts and higher awareness, there has been an increase in lifestyle or chronic diseases like hypertension, cancer, AIDS and diabetes. The shift in the profile of killer diseases is also a result of marked changes in demographics, a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers said. India that is already home to the largest number of diabetes patients is projected to have 30 million diabetics by 2020, of which 6.6 million or 22% would suffer from complications such as diabetic nephropathy. Doctors blame sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical activity, obesity, stress and consumption of a diet rich in fat and sugar for the high incidence. Similarly, stress both at work and at home is going to take a further toll with the number of people suffering from hypertension estimated to rise 213.5 million in 2025, compared to 118.2 million in 2000 representing an 80% rise in a span of a quarter century. A recent study had estimated that nearly 11% of India’s urban population and 3% of rural population above the age of 15 have diabetes. The World Health Organization estimates that mortality from diabetes and heart disease cost India about $210 billion every year and is expected to increase to $335 billion in the next 10 years. These estimates are based on lost productivity, resulting primarily from premature death. While traditionally the government’s focus was on combating infectious diseases, it has now decided to address the issues related to chronic or lifestyle diseases, along with private sector.

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