HYDERABAD: Despite having a lower body mass index (BMI) and lower tobacco consumption rates among its people, the Telugu States have nearly double the prevalence of non-communicable diseases than the national average.
According to a study report, prepared by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) as part of its ‘Illness to Wellness’ campaign, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have a non-communicable diseases (NCD) burden of 16.19% prevalence as compared to the national average of 11.62%.The disease burden for hypertension was highest amongst all non-communicable diseases at 8.54%, which is nearly triple the national prevalence of 3.60%.
The ASSOCHAM report found some interesting reasons as to why it could be this high in the Telugu States. While red meat consumption is a known factor, pollution levels and stress are lesser known indicators for the same, found the survey.
“The study found that high workplace pollution in the region is a major contributing factor to diseases related to neurology, heart and lung. This is mainly due to high mining, stone quarrying and construction activities in the region. Home air pollution was also found to be significantly contributing to hypertension and neurological disorders. The problem of workplace air pollution was recognised by 82% of the respondents while 76% accepted that they face home air pollution,” the report said.
The workspace stress adding to hypertension and digestive issues was reported by 63% of respondents. The region was also notorious for lower vegetable and fruit consumption coupled with high meat consumption than the national average.