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‘Young Adults Among the Most Affected by Heart Disease in India’

Wake up call. Young adults, rural Indians are among the most affected by cardiovascular disease in India.

2 min read
‘Young Adults Among the Most Affected by Heart Disease in India’
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More than one quarter of all deaths in India in 2015 were caused by cardiovascular disease, reveals a new study published in the medical journal The Lancet Global Health.

But that’s not even the most disturbing part of this new study. What’s more disturbing is the rise in number of young adults and rural population that has been affect by the disease.

The research is part of the Million Death Study, one of the largest studies of premature deaths in the world.


What makes this important, is that this work is the first nationally representative study to measure cardiovascular mortality in India. Led by Dr. Prabhat Jha, director of the Centre for Global Health Research of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada, it found that rates of dying from ischaemic heart disease in populations aged 30 to 69 increased rapidly in rural areas. These deaths surpassed those in urban areas between the year 2000 and 2015.

While overall deaths due to strokes decreased, in India’s Northeastern states deaths due to stroke were three times higher than the national average. A third of premature stroke deaths occurred in these states.

The lead researcher on the study, Dr Prabhat Jha says a lot of these deaths were preventable.

Most deaths were among people with previously known cardiac disease, and atleast half were not taking any regular medications.
Dr Prabhat Jha, Lead Reasercher

Young Adults At Risk

Cardiovascular disease caused more than 2·1 million deaths in India in 2015 at all ages.
(Photo: iStock altered by FIT)

Those born after 1970 have the highest rate of death due to heart problems caused by narrowing of the arteries.

Cardiovascular disease caused more than 2·1 million deaths in India in 2015 at all ages, or more than a quarter of all deaths. At ages 30–69 years, of 1·3 million cardiovascular deaths, 0·9 million (68·4%) were caused by ischaemic heart disease and 0·4 million (28·0%) by stroke.

Cardiovascular disease, is the leading cause of death worldwide and India accounts for 5th of the deaths. For India, this data is important. Most of the evidence of cardiovascular mortality till date here has come from small, local studies.

(For more stories on heart disease, follow FIT)

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