The basic health indices in India have widely improved since we became independent in 1947, the average life expectancy has gone up, the infant mortality rates and maternal mortality rates have improved a lot but we still have a long way to go before we achieve developed or European standards.
These improvements happened because of improvement in education, sanitation, health care facilities and increase in disposable income resulting in general improvements in living standards across the board.
Today we are producing more cereals, pulses, fruits, poultry, fish and also consuming more as a result the availability of protein in our diet has improved very much resulting in taller and healthier Indians.
But along with increase in disposable income and increasing living standards there is increase in consumption of alcohol, tobacco, red meat and fatty foods.
The increase in affluence and affordability of new technological gizmos has made us more sedentary and dependent even for smallest and easiest of the job; today we tend to use mobile phone from the comforts of our home to contact grocer, pharmacist, maid, electrician, mechanic, etc.
And instead of walking to nearest convenience store, we tend to use vehicle and instead of walking or cycling for moving-around in our neighborhood we take motorized vehicle.
Many of us will have trouble remembering last time we walked a distance to catch an auto rickshaw or taxi today we tend to book taxi and it picks us up from our door step.
Which along with unresponsive or indifferent civic management has resulted in unplanned development across most of the urban centers where availability of potable water, sanitation services are under stress along with increased and unmanaged vehicular, industrial, ground, noise pollution.
In 2012 GOI with Indian council of medical research released an updated definition of overweight and revised the figures to:
If BMI (Body Mass Index) is between 18-22.9kg / m2 person is of normal weight
If BMI is 23-24.9kg / m2 the person is overweight.
If BMI is more than 25 kg / m2 the person is OBESE.
In 21st century obesity has taken epidemic proportion in India and more than 5% of population comes under definition of OBESE.
While studying of 22 SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) near to MC4-R-gene, scientist have identified a SNP 12970134 to be mostly associated with waist circumference. In this study nearly 2000 people of Indian origin participated and this SNP was found to be most prevalent in this group.
Hence genetically we are predisposed towards abdominal obesity and this is one of the biggest morbidity factor behind diabetes type 2 and cardio vascular disease.
Globally 3-5 million deaths are because of obesity, 3.9% years of life lost and 3.9% of years lost to disability adjusted life years.
All the above has increased the number of Indians suffering from non-communicable lifestyle induced diseases like Cancers, Cardiac Vascular diseases, Diabetes, Hypertension, Mental Illness, breathing disorders like Asthma etc.
What is the disease burden for non-communicable prevalent disease like cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in India? ( Reference: Background papers on Burden of disease in India published by National commission on macroeconomics and health)
The figures for Diabetes, CVD (Cardio vascular disease) and cancers are alarming and the biggest percentage of new cases are being reported from Urban areas and the younger men and women are as vulnerable as middle aged men.
India is projected to become diabetes capital of the globe, it is estimated that in 2015 approximately 4.6 crore Indians were diabetic.
The prevalence is estimated as:
In 30-39 years age group around 6% of population is estimated to be diabetic.
In 40-49 years age group around 13% of population is estimated to be diabetic.
In 70+ years age group around 20% of population is estimated to be diabetic.
Diabetes has been recognized as one of the major contributing factor towards increase in numbers of Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD) patients in India.
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD):
It is estimated that around 6.4 crore Indians had one or the other condition which can be classified as CVD.
Coronary Heart Disease is a mix of conditions that include Acute Myocardial Infraction, Angina Pectoris, Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and inflammatory heart disease.