Non-communicable diseases : India to lose over $4.58 trillion


New Delhi: India stands to lose a whopping USD 4.58 trillion to non-communicable diseases and mental disorders between 2012 and 2030, an amount more than double India’s annual GDP, a report says.

According to a new report released today by the World Economic Forum and the Harvard School of Public Health, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and cancer are a major threat to human health, economic growth and national development.

“India stands to incur a cost of USD 4.58 trillion between 2012 and 2030 due to NCDs and mental health conditions. Of this amount, CVDs (USD 2.17 trillion) and mental health conditions (USD 1.03 trillion) will account for the majority of the economic loss,” the report said.

India’s GDP stood at USD 1.88 trillion in 2013 and is set to cross the USD 2 trillion markt this year, according to an IMF data.

“As India’s new government resets the course of the nation, this report shows that addressing this health burden must be central to the agenda,” WEF Senior Director of Global Health and Healthcare Arnaud Bernaert said.

As per the report, interventions such as screening (in the case of hypertension); vaccination (in the case of human papillomavirus); reduced tobacco use (in the case of public policy prevention and mobilising youth) and stepped care intervention (in the case of depressive and anxiety disorders) can reverse this trend with a return on investment of at least 15 per cent.

The report seeks to dispel the myth that NCDs only affect high-income economies, and to shed light on the serious cost implications that will be faced by middle-income countries if communicable disease prevention remains their only focus.

As per the World Health Organization data, an estimated 60 per cent of all deaths in India are due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The most prevalent NCDs in the country are cardiovascular disease (cause of 26 per cent of deaths in India, 2014), chronic respiratory disease (13 per cent), cancer (7 per cent) and diabetes (2 per cent).

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