A study led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation found that non-communicable ailments like pulmonary heart disease and diabetes, or injuries from accidents, domestic violence and self-harm have been responsible for a majority of deaths among young people between 1990 and 2010. Deaths due to malnutrition, neo-natal disorders and communicable diseases have declined.
More than three-fourths of premature deaths are caused by non-communicable diseases. The country’s population would be healthier if it cut down on smoking, including passive smoking.
Average life expectancy increased by 4.1 years; the share of nutritional deaths came down too. But the number of healthy years lost to lifestyle diseases increased by 0.88 years.
India has the highest number of people dying from heart diseases. In
a decade, 26 million people died of cardiac problems. There’s been a 136% rise in deaths from self-harm and a 63% increase in road accident-related deaths.
The Chinese government needs to check air pollution, the leading cause for premature deaths. People suffer from ischemic heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Ill treatment of children, domestic violence and sexual assaults, along with road accidents, are the most common causes for deaths among young people.
Source: The Global Burden of Disease: Generating Evidence, Guiding Policy published by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, at University of Washington, in December 2012
(This story appears in the 19 April, 2013 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)