The prevalence of non-communicable diseases in Bengal is higher than the national average, a study has revealed.
The findings of the study, conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) jointly with a Delhi-based think-tank, Thought Arbitrage Research Institute, were released during a webinar on Thursday.
Non-communicable diseases include cancer, diabetes, cardiac ailments, liver and kidney ailments.
Some of its key findings:
- Prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCD) in Bengal (17.8 per cent) compared to the national average (11.6 per cent)
- Sixty-one per cent of people in Bengal do not undergo periodic health check-ups. The national average is 47 per cent
- Bengal’s junk food and carbonated drink consumption is on a par with the national average
- Sixty-nine per cent people in Bengal have a monthly income of less than Rs 10,000, compared to the national average of 56 per cent. Hence, lower spending capacity on medical treatment
The report, titled “Non-Communicable Diseases in India”, covered 2,33,672 people and 673 public health offices in 21 states to analyse the rising burden of non-communicable diseases in the country.
Non-communicable diseases are the leading cause of adult mortality and morbidity worldwide. In India, the NCD burden is growing at an alarming rate.
“There are empirical studies depicting that air pollution is one of the biggest contributors for rising cases of NCDs such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, obesity as well as with issues pertaining to digestive tract, and heart in urban India,” said a statement from Assocham that accompanied the report.
“This has come to the fore during the pandemic. The mortality rate among those suffering from NCDs has been recorded at 60 per cent during the pandemic.”
Doctors who attended the webinar spoke on the then and now of NCDs. They attributed the alarming growth of NCDs to lifestyle changes, like dietary habits and lack of physical activity.
Bengal’s demography and high population density were among the causes of the high prevalence of NCDs in the state, they said.
“Human beings were hunters and gatherers. Physiologically, we are not programmed for samosas and burgers,” said Kunal Sarkar, cardiac surgeon and public health expert.
Sanjoy Mandal, surgical oncologist, said: “Lifestyle and food habits have contributed to a rise in fatty liver disease among non-drinkers also. If left unchecked, it can lead to life-threatening liver cirrhosis.”