NEW DELHI : Average life expectancy in India rose marginally to 68.7 years in the 2012-16 period, the National Health Profile (NHP) 2019 showed, with the figures for women and men at 70.2 years and 67.4 years, respectively.

In the last survey, life expectancy had stood at 68.3 for the 2011-15 period. The figures were sharply higher from 1970-75, when life expectancy was a mere 49.7. Union health minister Harsh Vardhan released NHP 2019 on Wednesday.

The NHP is prepared by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI) and covers demography, socioeconomic health status, health finance indicators, health infrastructure and health of human resources in the country. The ministry has been releasing the publication since 2005.

The survey also highlighted the swelling burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). “Decline in morbidity and mortality from communicable diseases have been accompanied by a gradual shift to, and accelerated rise in, the prevalence of chronic NCDs such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cancers, mental health disorders and injuries," the report said.

The report also pointed out that out of 6.51 crore patients, who attended NCD clinics under the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) in 2018, around 4.75% were diagnosed with diabetes, 6.19% with hypertension, 0.30% with cardiovascular diseases, 0.10% with stroke and 0.26% with common cancers.

On vector-borne diseases, the survey pointed out that in 2018, the maximum number of cases and deaths due to malaria were reported in Chhattisgarh (77,140 cases and 26 deaths). “The overall prevalence of the disease has diminished in 2012 and 2013, but there was a slight increase in 2014 and 2015, before it again started decreasing from 2016. Dengue and Chikungunya, transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, are a cause for great concern to public health in India," the report said.

“Every year, thousands of individuals are affected and contribute to the burden of health care. Dengue outbreaks have continued since the 1950s but severity of disease has increased in the last two decades. However, the reported cases of Chikungunya in the country has shown a slight decrease from 67,769 to 57,813 in 2018 as compared to 2017," it added.

The report said there was a considerable decrease in the number of swine flu cases/deaths in 2014 compared with 2012 and 2013. However, the number of cases and deaths rose sharply in 2015. The numbers decreased in 2016, but again increased significantly in 2017 and 2018.

There has been consistent decrease in the birth rate, death rate and natural growth rate in India from 1991 to 2017.

In 2017, India had a birth rate of 20.2 and death rate of 6.3, while the natural growth rate was 13.9 per 1,000 population. The birth rate in rural areas was higher than in urban. Similarly, the death rate and natural growth rate were also higher in rural areas as compared to urban. Birth rate is the number of live births per 1,000 population and death rate is the number of deaths per per 1,000 population per year.

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