Adults from urban areas with higher household wealth and education were found to be at higher risk.

Kerala at highest risk for cardiovascular diseases in India finds a studyImage for representation only
Health Health Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 22:22

The excellent health indices have always been a matter of pride for Kerala. However, lately, there is an alarming increase in the number of cardiovascular diseases amongst the youth.

In a recent study, led by researchers at Public Health Foundation of India and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health which was  published online on Tuesday in PLOS Medicine, it was found that the risk of a fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in the next 10 years varied widely among states in India, ranging from 13.2% in Jharkhand to 19.5% in Kerala.

CVD risk was found to be highest in the northeastern, and southern states of the country.

The prevalence of high CVD risk in those aged 30 to 74 years was 14.6% among females and 31.7% among males.  Adults from urban areas with higher household wealth and education were found to have higher CVD risk.

This was a large-scale population-based study which examined how the risk for cardiovascular diseases and the factors that determine the risk varies across the Indian states in terms of rural/ urban location and sociodemographic characteristics.

Pascal Geldsetzer, the lead researcher said, “This kind of analysis can help policymakers to decide where resources are most urgently needed for relevant programs to reduce cardiovascular disease risk and also to design interventions, such that certain target groups which have a particularly high cardiovascular disease risk are included in these interventions.”

Data from  797,540 adults aged 30 to 74 years across 2 large population-based household surveys were analysed for the study. The two surveys viz Annual Health Survey (round 2) and District Level Household and Facility Survey (round 4), carried out between 2012 and 2014, had jointly covered 27 states and 5 union territories.

The study stated that the population of Odisha, Bihar, Assam, Rajasthan have 14-15 % risk of suffering from CVD in the next 10 years, while people of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Telangana have 15-16 % possibility.

Punjab, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu population is at a risk of 17-18 %, while people of Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh have 18-19 % risk of CVD.

The variations were also seen in four major risk factors viz blood glucose, smoking, body mass index and systolic blood pressure. The research found that while the mean BMI was substantially higher among wealthy than poor individuals, high blood glucose and high systolic blood pressure were common among poor individuals in middle and old age.

Lindsay Jaacks, faculty at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and visiting faculty at PHFI said, “This study clearly demonstrates the need for translational research on diabetes and hypertension prevention and management in India. It also highlights the urgent need for population-wide interventions such as the elimination of artificial trans fat and sodium reduction as well as reducing tobacco use.”

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