A recent report by ASSOCHAM prepared jointly with Delhi-based think tank, Thought Arbitrage Research Institute states that West Bengal has a high incidence of non-communicable diseases. High-stress levels, poor dietary habits, and delay in seeking medical advice are the three main reasons behind it, the report says.
The survey report titled Non-Communicable Diseases in India covered 2,33,672 people and 673 public health offices in 21 states to analyse the rising cases of NCDs in the country and the social profile of suffering households.
|Hypertension||Exposure to Polluted Air, High Consumption of Non-vegetarian, Red Meat, Lower Fruit Consumption, Junk food consumption, High Stress|
|Digestive Diseases||Higher Level of Non-vegetarian Food and Red Meat Consumption, Lower Fruit Consumption, Junk Food Consumption, Exposure to Polluted Air|
|Diabetes||Higher Level of Non-vegetarian Food, Red Meat Consumption, High Stress, Junk food consumption|
|Brain Disorders||Exposure to Polluted Air, Junk food consumption, High Stress|
|Respiratory Diseases||Exposure to Polluted Air|
|Heart Disease||Junk food consumption, High Stress|
Hypertension, digestive diseases, neurological diseases, kidney disorders, respiratory disease, diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases are the key NCDs. According to the survey, the prevalence of any NCD in West Bengal is 17.83 per cent as compared to the national average of 11.63 per cent. About 48 per cent of the respondents from West Bengal face high stress as compared to the national average of 41per cent.
A key risk factor of the high NCDs is attributed to a higher level of non-vegetarian food consumption (red meat and aquatic food) – 93.5 per cent people in the state are non-veg as compared to the national average of 65.6 per cent.
The survey also pointed out that 61 per cent of people in West Bengal do not undergo any health check-up when compared to the national average of 47%. The survey also revealed that only 37% of respondents accepted that they undergo health check-ups at least once in 12 months. This is much lower than the national average of 50% and can be one of the important factors behind the high prevalence of NCDs in the state.
The delay in seeking treatment by the West Bengal population is also evident from the survey findings which showed that 31 per cent of people here seek medical advice only after observing higher stages of symptoms or on compulsion compared to 17 per cent nationally. Also, only 41 per cent of the population seek medical advice after first-stage symptoms while the national average for the same is 56 per cent.