NEW DELHI: People living in Kerala and males living in urban areas in India are more at the risk of cardiovascular Disease (CVD) risk than those in the rural areas, finds a study of nearly 800,000 people.
The nationwide risk study, conducted by researchers from the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and Harvard University, showed that the average 10-year risk of a fatal or nonfatal CVD event varied widely among states in India, ranging from 13.2 per cent in Jharkhand to 19.5 per cent in Kerala, with wealthier and more urbanised states tending to have a higher risk.
“CVD has emerged as a leading cause of death in India however, the prevalence varies among states and different socio-economic groups. Early assessment of CVD among high risk population and targeted efforts can reduce substantial premature mortality and morbidity,” said Ashish Awasthi, Assistant Professor at PHFI.
The results, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, was based on two large household surveys carried out between 2012 and 2014, which included a sample of 797,540 adults aged 30 to 74 years across India.
People living in southern states of India namely Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, including Goa, and those living in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, are more at the risk of CVD. The list also includes the northeastern states (except Assam), and West Bengal (particularly among males).
“CVD risk varied widely among states and we also observed important variation of cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as smoking and diabetes, by adults’ socio-demographic characteristics,” added Pascal Geldsetzer from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
“Our findings could be helpful in deciding how to allocate resources to prevent CVD to those most in need.”
The study also determined that smoking was more prevalent in poorer households and rural areas, whereas body mass index, high blood glucose, and systolic blood pressure — indicators of CVD risk — were associated with household wealth and urban location.
The key findings and mapping of CVD risk across the states of India may guide us to reach the pockets at high risk for immediate and effective implementation of relevant programs and towards formulation of new policies.
“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,” the ressearchers noted.