Nature India | Indigenus

Heart bomb ticking

A new survey — the largest ever that has tried to know what kills Indians most — has pushed communicable diseases down in the list of biggest killers. It has been reported that heart ailments are actually accountable for maximum mortality in rural and urban India put together. Cardiac diseases have emerged as the number one killer.

The findings are part of the Million Death Study that is following the lives and deaths of 1.1 million households throughout India until 2014. The idea is to have reliable quantification of the causes of death in India, currently not recorded properly.

It is indeed surprising that cardiovascular diseases (accounting for about 19 per cent of all deaths) have emerged as the biggest cause of death in the preliminary findings of the study. Though the genetic pre-disposition of Asian populations to cardiac ailments is no news, this study certainly shows a shift in trend from earlier mortality figures where lifestyle diseases took the backseat and communicable diseases accounted for bigger tolls.

Looks like the heart and its ailments will have to be taken more seriously by public health policy makers.

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