Cardiovascular diseases in India
Challenges and way ahead
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) were once thought to be impacting the rich and affluent, but it is now well established that they afflict the poor as well. While changing lifestyles, unhealthy eating habits and declining physical activity are the key reasons for high incidence rates in the rich population, the issues of access and affordability account for higher mortality amongst the urban poor and rural population. These diseases impact not only the well-being, but can also hold back the economic growth of the country due to increased healthcare expenditure and diminished productivity. India is projected to lose approximately USD 236 billion between 2005-2015 due to CVDs and diabetes.
Gather a detailed perspective
To address the issue of rising CVDs, urban India has made considerable progress in delivering high quality diagnostics and interventional cardiac care. Indian hospitals perform heart surgeries with outcomes that are comparable to the best in the world. However, this level of care is available only to the select few – those that can access and afford it. Though Indian hospitals conduct over ninety thousand heart surgeries a year, this is a small fraction of the 2.5 million required. While there is increasing availability and focus on curative care in urban areas, this alone cannot solve the problem of CVDs.