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Urbanization and aging have led to increasing poor health conditions related to non-communicable diseases in all states. The fastest-growing causes of disease burden over the last 26 years were diabetes (rate increased by 80%) and ischemic heart disease (up 34%). Photo credit: I-TECH, UW
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By Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)

A new state-by-state health analysis in India finds that over two decades heart- and lung-related conditions, as well as other non-communicable diseases (NCDs), have surpassed infectious diseases, such as diarrhea and tuberculosis, as the nation’s leading killers. The extent of this difference, however, varies significantly among the nation’s 29 states and seven union territories.

The study, which covers 1990 through 2016, also concludes that while child and maternal malnutrition has dropped substantially, this remains the most pernicious risk factor causing loss of healthy life. Moreover, road injuries and suicides are leading contributors to death among young people, with a nearly four-fold difference in suicide rates among different Indian states.

“India has come a long way, but our individual state estimates reveal major health inequalities between the ‘nations’ within this nation,” said Dr. Lalit Dandona, Distinguished Professor at the Public Health Foundation of India in New Delhi and a Professor of Global Health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. “Over the past two decades the Government of India has launched many initiatives and programs to address a variety of diseases and risk factors. However, these data show that what we have being doing up to now is not enough. With the availability of state-specific findings now identifying the diseases and risk factors that need most attention in each state, we can act more effectively to improve health in every state of the country. This has the potential of reducing the major health inequalities observed currently between the states, and this would also help achieve better health outcomes for India as a whole.”

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The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an independent research center within UW Medicine and one of the Department of Global Health's key partners, led this study. 

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