New Delhi: Chronic Diseases in India account for about 53% of all deaths and 44% of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) with estimates of such deaths likely to register a sharp increase of over 8 million in 2020 from less than 4 million pre 2000 era, according to a Paper brought out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and Assocham.
In a Paper on Rs.Working towards wellness : An Indian perspective’, it has been stated that India’s loss in terms of losing potentially productive years due to deaths from cardiovascular diseases in people aged between 35-64 years is one of the highest in the world. By 2030, the loss is expected to rise to 17.9 million years which is 940% more than the loss estimated in the USA.
In India diabetic nephropathy is expected to develop in 6.6 million of the 30 million patients suffering from diabetes. Number of people with hypertension is expected to see a quantum leap from an estimated 118.2 million in 2000 to 213.5 million in 2025.
The projected foregone national income for India due to heart disease, stroke and diabetes during the period 2005 – 2015 is estimated to be more than $200 billion.
The Paper warns that deaths from chronic diseases worldwide are expected to increase by 17% over the next 10 years, from 35 million to 41million, caused largely by an ageing population and increasing numbers of people exposed to risk.
Deaths from infectious diseases, maternal and peri-natal conditions and nutritional deficiencies combined are projected to decline by 3% over the same period.
The survey highlights that chronic disease is not restricted to developed nations or older populations and is growing fastest in low-income countries with nearly half of those dying from chronic diseases being below 70 years of age.
In 2005, an estimated 35,000,000 people across the world died of cardiovascular disease (stroke and heart disease), cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes. This is double the number of deaths from all infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, maternal and peri-natal conditions and nutritional deficiencies put together.
It is also estimated that of the 64 million estimated deaths in 2015, a staggering 41 million will be from chronic diseases.
Only 3% of all health expenditure in the member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was directed at prevention and public health in 2004.
Between 2007 onwards and until 2030, India is likely to experience more deaths of people in the age group of 35-64 than USA, China and Russia.
Corporate sector must take a close look at developing effective Workplace Wellness Programmes along with the Government. Chronic diseases are not restricted to the developed world, nor do they affect the elderly people only. Economic burden from disease is manifold and affects individuals, families, communities and the nation.
Effective interventions are possible at a reasonable cost and emphasis should be on primary prevention. Health standards can be improved without heavy reliance on a sophisticated health system, which is often not available in developing countries.