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Cardiovascular diseases account for close to a quarter of the deaths in India between 2010 & 2013

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Cause of deaths is an important input for healthcare planning. The Census office recently released the cause of deaths in India between 2010 and 2013. According to this report, 23.3% of the deaths were because of cardiovascular diseases compared to 19.9% between 2004 and 2006.

The Census office recently released the cause of deaths in India between 2010 and 2013. The data is sourced from the Sample Registration System (SRS). As per these estimates, 23.3% of the deaths are caused by Cardiovascular diseases while 7.6% of the deaths are caused by Respiratory diseases. Cause for 12.4% of the deaths could not be accurately ascertained.

Sample Size of the Survey

The method of Verbal Autopsy (VA) was used to determine the underlying causes of death. The present report for the years 2010-2013 is based on 182827 deaths out of which 10.3% of the deaths were of those less than 1 year of age, 4% were of those between 1 and 14 years of age. 49.98% of the deaths were of those between 15 and 69 years and the rest above 70 years of age.

Proportion of deaths due to Cardiovascular diseases increase

A similar survey was done for deaths between 2004 and 2006. Compared to those years, the proportion of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases increased significantly from 19.9% to 23.3%. The Proportion of deaths due to respiratory diseases, digestive diseases, motor vehicle accidents and suicides marginally increased in the period between 2010-2013 compared to the period between 2004-2006. On the other hand, proportion of deaths due to tuberculosis and Diarrhoeal diseases saw a significant decline during the same period.

cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in india_percentage of deaths by cause

More people die younger in Rural India compared to Urban India

Close to 15.4% of the deaths in rural areas were in the age group of 0-14 while the corresponding percentage for urban was only 10.4%. In all the other age groups, the percentage of deaths in urban areas was more than the rural areas. This could very well be the result of poor basic health facilities in rural areas.

cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in india_proportion of deaths

Women live longer compared to Men only when they cross 14 years

The data also reveals an interesting trend in proportion of deaths on the basis of gender.  A greater percentage of women (15.3%) die before they attain 14 years than men (13.5%). In all the other age groups except 70+, a greater percentage of men die than the percentage of women. 40.4% of the women die after they attain the age of 70 years while only 32.1% of the men die after 70 years.

cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in india_proportion of deaths male vs female

(This is Part 1 of a two part series. Part 2 will look at the issue of suicides in Young People)

Featured image: Illustration using Lungs by Creative Stall, auto accident by Nikita Kozin, Stomach by Yazmin Alanis and dead body by Wojciech Zasina from the Noun Project

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