According to the report, the burden of air pollution was higher in low epidemiological transition level (ETL) states or states where the transition of disease burden from communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases is still slow compared to other states where conditions like blood pressure or high cholesterol had a higher disease burden compared to communicable diseases.
Contribution of major disease groups to total disease burden in India, 1990 and 2016. Kerala, Goa, and Tamil Nadu have the largest dominance of non-communicable diseases and injuries while they are relatively lower in Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
To highlight this, the gap between the highest life expectancy in an Indian state and the lowest life expectancy now is 11 years, and the difference between the state with the highest infant mortality rate and lowest rate is 4 fold.
Outdoor air pollution was responsible for six per cent of the total disease burden in India in 2016, a new study has said at a time when thick smog hung low over Delhi-NCR, leaving residents gasping for breath.
On a national scale, the report shows, there are major health inequalities among states irrespective of the improvements in the last 25 years.
Infectious and associated diseases made up the majority of disease burden in most of the states in 1990, but this was less than half in all states in 2016.
The incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such diabetes and respiratory disorders in India has risen by 25 percent since 1990, according to a study on the country's disease burden.
He was addressing the gathering after releasing the "India State-level Disease Burden Report and Technical Paper", an initiative by the Indian Council of Medical Research in collaboration with Public Health Foundation of India and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (University of Washington, Seattle), here today.
"The contribution of air pollution to disease burden remained high in India between 1990 and 2016, with levels of exposure among the highest in the world". Road injuries and suicides are the leading contributors to the injury burden in India. While the disease burden rate in India has improved since 1990, it was 72% higher per person than in Sri Lanka or China in 2016.
While air pollution was the third largest risk factor in 1990, it has moved up to the second leading risk factor in 2016 owing to rising air pollution levels across the country.
This risk factor encompasses both outdoor air pollution from a variety of sources as well as household air pollution that mainly results from burning solid fuels for cooking and heat. The per person disease burden measured as DALYs rate dropped by 36% from 1990 to 2016 in India, after adjusting for the changes in the population age structure during this period. The report also analysed change in mortality rates due to the changes in medical advancements - across Indian states.
Dr. K. Srinath Reddy, President of PHFI, pointed out that the contribution of non-communicable diseases to health loss had doubled in the past two decades.
This knowledge base can be a crucial aid for more informed policy and interventions to improve population health in every state and union territory of India and in reducing health inequalities between the states.
Even though Delhi has now been facing a deteriorating quality of air due to pollution, it faces a marginally lower health risks, when compared to states like Bihar.