By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Oct 3: Heart diseases are responsible for about one-third of all deaths in rural India while only 13 per cent of deaths are related to accidents including suicide.
An international research study conducted jointly by the George Institute for International Health and the University of Queensland revealed that heart related problems constituted the "major killer" of human beings in the countryside. The findings were published in the International Journal of Epidemiology and the research was carried out in East and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh. The study emphasised the need for India to improve its health services besides creating new health avenues to fight against chronic ailments.
While the incidence of diseases related to heart are on the rise in the country, interestingly enough cases of infectious diseases are on the decline. This, according to the study, is the result of change in social and economic scenario in villages.
The study pointed out that death from injury, both accidents and self-inflicted as in suicide, was the second most common cause of death in rural India contributing to 13 per cent of total deaths. Infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, intestinal infections and HIV/AIDS, are responsible for 12 per cent of deaths, while cancer is contributing to 7 per cent of deaths.
According to Dr Rohina Joshi, the data on the causes of death is an indicator of the health problems now facing the rural India. The spurt in heart related diseases is linked to high rate of smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure among villagers.
The study was conducted in 45 villages spread over East and West Godavari districts covering a total population of 1.80 lakh.
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