‘Heart diseases, infection leading killers in Delhi’: Reports

Cardiovascular diseases, infections and respiratory diseases accounted for two in every five deaths recorded in Delhi in 2017, the state government’s Annual Report on Registration of Births and Deaths which is based on reports of the city’s three corporations, said.

The report says there were three plague deaths and five deaths due to cholera.

Heart disease and stroke accounted for 19.25% of all deaths in 2017, which is a 1.6 percentage points increase over reported deaths in 2016. Infectious and parasitic diseases caused 14.78% of all deaths; followed by respiratory ailments, which led to 8.405% of deaths. “This is the trend that we see across the country; now fewer people are dying of infectious diseases and increasing longetivity is leading to more deaths from lifestyle-related diseases. Heart diseases and strokes are accompanied with diabetes and hypertension, so it is important to address them,” said Dr Dilip Kumar, senior consultant of medicine, Safdarjung hospital.

In 2017, sixteen deaths were also reported from neonatal tetanus, which was eliminated (less than one case in every 1,000 live births) in India in 2015.

Sex ratio at birth rose to 913 in 2017, compared to 902 the previous year. “It is good to see the increase, but it is important to implement the PC-PNDT law properly to ensure that the gains made are maintained and Delhi can do better in the future,” said Sabu George, an activist who has been working to prevent female foeticide for over three decades. The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCP-NDT) Act, 1994, bans sex-determination of the foetus.

In infants under the age of one year, slow growth of foetus, foetal malnutrition and immaturity were the highest causes of death in 2017, with the numbers increasing threefold over 2016. In 2016, slow foetal growth, foetal malnutrition and immaturity killed 426 (5.31% of all infant deaths) newborns as compared to 1,268 (16.75%) in 2017.

In 2016, the highest newborn deaths were from suffocation from lack of oxygen and other respiratory symptoms, which accounted for 1,358 or 16.94% of all infant deaths.

“Malnutrition is always a factor for foetal malnutrition and slow growth, but it has always been a problem in India. So, for finding reasons for the sudden jump, we need to examine other reasons such as environmental toxins, pollutants or other such reasons. The other explanation for the rise could be improved diagnosis because of better imaging techniques and more people getting tested,” said Dr Subhashish Roychaudhary, professor of paediatric surgery at Lady Hardinge Medical College.

First Published:
May 15, 2019 06:46 IST

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