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Chronic non-communicable diseases on the rise in urban India

Chronic non-communicable diseases on the rise in urban India

New Delhi [India]: Practo, the leading healthcare platform, recently released the second edition of its Annual Healthcare Map of India, which highlights some of the key consumer health concerns.

Practo’s 2016 Healthcare Map shows increase in patients visiting specialists due to growing concerns over chronic ailments like respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, spine, and gastric conditions.

The report is a comprehensive look at the disease and illness trends across India. Annually, Practo facilitates 45M appointments on its platform. The report is based on those health care appointments that were booked across 35 cities with focus on top seven cities including Delhi & NCR, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad across 200+ medical specialties.

Uniquely, the report is entirely based on actual patient actions (booking appointments) rather than surveys.

“Our mission is to help people live healthier, longer lives and that begins with access to better data. This is the most comprehensive healthcare report for India. We release this annually to highlight the disease trends facing India. We hope these findings better equip our healthcare providers to understand disease patterns and address them effectively.” – Shashank ND, Founder & CEO, Practo

Chronic non-communicable diseases ailing Indians

Practo’s Healthcare map of India, found that concerns over chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is the major reason for urban India to visit doctors; (book appointments). Rapid urbanization and a fast-paced socio-economic development is contributing to the rising incidence of cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma), diabetes, hypertension etc. Additionally, poor dietary habits, physical inactivity, smoking and stress are some of the major contributors to the development and progression of preventable chronic diseases.

Pollution is suffocating India:

1. Air pollution has been growing alarmingly

2. This is reflecting in visits to Pulmonologist seeing a 62% growth

3. The major spike in appointments was seen across the age group of 35- 44 years

4. Top 3 cities that saw growth in appointments for Pulmonologists were Delhi (50%) Mumbai (64%) and Bangalore (80%)

“The air quality in many cities is poor due to pollution. Many people have been seeking medical help for various related problems like breathing difficulties, chest pain etc. It is probably due to harmful toxins in the atmosphere resulting in acute respiratory infection (ARI), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) & interstitial lung diseases (ILD) etc. are emerging as major health problems. Respiratory diseases are no longer restricted to the elderly but are now being detected in younger age groups as well. It is advised for patients suffering from COPD to quit smoking, stay active, practice breathing exercises, eat nutritious food, and working with your doctor for pulmonary rehabilitation, along with taking regular guideline based medications”. – Dr. Mahesh PA, Professor, Pulmonary Medicine, JSS University, Mysore

Diabetes is getting the better of India:

• 25% growth in Diabetologists appointments

• 70% of the appointments booked were by patients in the age group of 25-44 years

• The cities with the maximum growth in appointments compared to 2015 was Hyderabad (38%), Mumbai (40%), and Kolkata (49%).

“Unhealthy lifestyle is a major cause of diabetes; presently younger population have been coming to me. Screening in the pre-diabetic phase is the earliest way to diagnose this condition. Patients who are obese or have a family history of diabetes need to make sure that they go to their doctor for regular check-ups. The later you start intervention, the harder it is to prevent complications. Diabetes in turn also puts patients at a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). It is important for patients to avoid processed food containing excessive amount of sugar and salt, keep blood sugar levels in check, and exercise regularly”- Dr. Vinod Mittal, Sr. Consultant Diabetologist- Delhi Heart & Lung Institute & Director- Delhi Diabetes Care Center

Young India is not young at heart:

• 40% growth in cardiologist appointments with hypertension as the most common symptom

• Most appointments booked by people in the age group of 25-35 years

• The rise in appointments was seen in cities like Bangalore and Pune with a growth of 58% and 38% respectively as compared to 2015

“Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) top the list of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) which now account for 62% of deaths in India. In the last decade CVDs have grown at the rate of 16%. Unhealthy lifestyle with high stress levels complimented by poor diet and eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, lack of exposure to sun light have induced metabolic disorders. There are about 60 million diabetics in India and twice the number with hypertension. What is alarming is that an increasing number of patients coming in for check-ups are so young. Smoking triples the risk of CVDs. Patients need to go for regular heart health check- ups; ultimately managing this requires changing one’s stress levels and lifestyle with diet and exercise. Yogasana and Pranayama have helped many CVD patients to lead a quality life.” Dr. Ramesh Sheshadri, Sr. Consultant Cardiac Surgeon, Narayana Hrudayala, Bangalore

Young Indian population is breaking its back

• 31% growth in spine surgeon appointments

• 25% growth in spine and pain specialists’ appointments

• Most appointments booked by people in the age group of 18-24 years

“Many working people especially those in technology sectors suffer from Repetitive stress injury (RSI) which is caused by prolonged working hours, poor ergonomics, unhealthy life style, lack of fitness and professional stress factors. Immediate medical advice is needed for acute exacerbations like neck spasms, carpal tunnel syndromes, eye fatigue, low back ache, tension headache, joint pains and fibromyalgia. Best way to avoid RSI is to follow healthy lifestyle, balanced diet, regular exercises, proper workstation and posture and supervised physio “-Dr. Anand Galagali, Senior Ortho consultant, Manipal Hospital ,Fortis Hospital & Ramaiah Memorial hospital

Stomach has started aching young India: Gastro issues on the rise

• 22% growth in gastroenterologists appointments

• Most common symptoms were abdominal discomfort or pain, indigestion, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting

• Most common age group that booked appointments was 25-34 years

• Mumbai saw a 26% increase in appointments with gastroenterologists followed by Delhi at 27% growth, and Hyderabad at 24%.

“Many patients have been coming to me regarding stomach infection, indigestion, abdominal pain etc. There is rise in chronic gastritis which can be caused due to various factors like spicy food, medicines, tobacco, alcohol, chronic stress etc. A good diet including vitamins, minerals, fibers, and antioxidants along with avoiding high-fat & high-salt foods, quitting smoking and alcohol is necessary to get it under control. Avoid ignoring symptoms like blood in stool, difficulty in swallowing, loss of appetite, recent onset of dyspepsia (attributed as “gas”,”gastric”, indigestion, etc.) These are ominous symptoms which may indicate a cancer disease. Do not do self-diagnose. It can be risky.” – Dr. Vasudeva Pai H, Senior Gastrointestinal, liver, pancreas and advanced laparoscopic surgeon, Columbia Asia Hospitals Pvt. Ltd.

Alternative medicine is now a good option

Another interesting insight that the Healthcare Map drew was on how people are preferring to book appointments with doctors practicing allopathy as well as alternative medicine. There was a growth of 62% in booked appointments with allopathic doctors and a 34% growth in appointments for alternative medicine doctors in the age bracket of 35 years & above. (ANI)