Alarming rise of NCD in India - Is India becoming the “Cancer Capital of the World?”

Business MInutes

On World Health Day 2024, Apollo Hospitals released its 4th edition of its "Health of Nation" report, highlighting the alarming rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in India. The report highlights the alarming increase in cancer cases, with India being the "cancer capital of the world". Shockingly, 1 in 3 Indians are prediabetic, 2 in 3 are pre-hypertensive, and 1 in 10 suffer from depression. The report advocates for regular health screenings to mitigate risks, emphasizing their role in reducing blood pressure and BMI levels.

Mr. Neelakannan P, COO of Apollo Hospitals, highlights the indispensable role of health in national development and urges concerted efforts against the escalating threat of NCDs like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. The average age of diagnosis in India is decreasing significantly, but cancer screening rates remain low. Obesity incidence in India is rapidly increasing, with 3 in 4 individuals undergoing health checks at Apollo Hospitals being either obese or overweight. Hypertension incidence has also seen a concerning uptick, rising from 9% in 2016 to 13% in 2023.

Diabetes remains a significant concern, with 1 in 10 individuals having uncontrolled diabetes and 1 in 3 being prediabetic. Surprisingly, 1 in 5 individuals below the age of 45 are prediabetic, indicating a worrying trend of early metabolic disorders. Mental health issues like depression are also on the rise, with 1 in every 10 individuals screened exhibiting symptoms of depression. Notably, the highest percentage of depression is among individuals aged 18 to 25, where 1 in 5 are affected, highlighting the pressing need for mental health support and awareness.

Dr. Praveen Rajan, JDMS at Apollo Specialty Hospitals, acknowledges the alarming rise of NCDs globally and advocates for prioritizing innovation in preventive healthcare and improving accessibility. Apollo Hospitals is integrating technology to enhance healthcare delivery, offering personalized services through AI-backed programs and extensive screening initiatives. Dr. Rajan emphasizes the importance of leveraging technology to improve disease prevention, diagnosis accuracy, and patient-centric treatment methodologies, emphasizing that a healthy population is essential for societal prosperity and resilience in the 21st century.


BM Correspondent

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