First comprehensive analysis of health in India reveals vast inequalities between states

Today (14 Nov), The Lancet publishes the first comprehensive analysis of the health of India’s 1.34 billion citizens—encompassing almost a fifth of the world’s population. The analysis aims to equip the government with evidence to identify specific state-level health challenges and priorities for intervention. This massive effort brings together over 200 leading health scientists and policy makers from more than 100 institutions across India as part of the India State-level Disease Burden Initiative [1]. For the first time, the study estimates the key drivers of ill health, disability, and premature death in all 29 states, many of which have populations the size of large countries, and include people from over 2000 different ethnic groups. It analyses 333 diseases and injuries and 84 risk factor trends for each state in India between 1990 and 2016 as part of the Global Burden of Disease 2016 study. The researchers divided India’s states into four groups according to their level of development or epidemiological transition, using the ratio of illness and premature death caused by communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases (CMNNDs) versus non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries as an indicator. “Individual states in India are in different phases of epidemiological transition, and this …

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