A Fifth of World's Deaths Take Place in Country, But for All New Reasons

Published: 19th December 2014 06:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th December 2014 06:02 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: A whopping 19 per cent of all the deaths in 2013 globally occurred in India — but not for the same reasons as two decades ago.

While pneumonia, diarrhoeal diseases and tuberculosis were the major killers in 1990, they have been pushed lower down the pecking order by the rise of Ischemic Heart Disease. According to an analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 published in The Lancet, it was found that suicide, road injuries, diabetes and hypertension linked heart trouble were major death causes in India. On the bright side, the average life expectancy for people born in 2013 has increased to 64.2 years for men and 68.5 years for women. In other words, it increased by an average of 8.6 years since 1990.


The analysis of the extensive study was done by a consortium of researchers working for The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation to find the major causatives of death between 1990 and 2013 in 188 countries. Surprisingly, the number of suicides recorded in the study as having occurred in India are 265,275 - a massive increase over the 1.3 lakh logged in the National Crime Records Bureau report on Suicides and Accidental Deaths.

Road injuries causing death are fairly more concurrent with both studies estimating the number of casualties at 2.64 lakh, that year. Doctors have been crying themselves hoarse about how diabetes and hypertension will get to you - and now they have the numbers to prove it. Both of these are new entrants to the Top 10 list of conditions that killed Indians in 2013. Though most of the diseases that killed people in 1990, such as TB, have since diminished, it is not by too much. “It is encouraging to note the reduction in adult and child mortality between 1990 and 2013. However, TB deaths have only decreased by 20% and it is the third leading cause of death,” said Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Director of the National Institute of Research in Tuberculosis.

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