All is not Well with Chandigarh's Health
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20 May 2010
By Neelam Sharma
City Anchor in One Year, Cases of Lifestyle Diseases like Hypertension and Related Ailments have Doubled
When it comes to health, all is not well with Chandigarh residents. In just one year, lifestyle diseases like hypertension, brain stroke, diabetes and coronary artery disease (CAD) have more than doubled.
According to findings of the UT Health department, from 7,200 cases of hypertension in 2008, the numbers rose to 15,000 in 2009. Diabetes’ figures during the same period rose from 3,800 to 8,200.
The data is based on the number of cases reported in three hospitals in the city –PGI, GMCH–32 and GMSH–16.Also, nearly half of the adult population between the age group of 35 and 54 suffers from hypertension.
“We first began to track lifestyle diseases in 2007, as being an urban centre Chandigarh always had more cases of lifestyle diseases than the national average,” a senior health official said. “Year after year, however, these numbers are showing an increasing trend, indicating that residents are leading sedentary lives –high on calorific food and low on physical activity.”
According to the data updated till March this year, 2,000 new cases of hypertension, 1,900 of diabetes, 300 of CAD and 110 of brain stroke have already been reported since January.
“A couple of years ago, PGI had conducted an extensive survey, which found that 44 per cent of the male adult population and 45 per cent of the female popula tion was suffering from hypertension,” the official said. “As many as eight per cent adult males and seven per cent females have suffered a heart attack.”
Signs of worry
According to the data, around five per cent patients of lifestyle diseases are children. Detailed figures procured from the hospitals reveal that of the 250 cases of brain stroke reported between January and July in 2008, around 6 per cent were children under 14 years old.
Of the 3,000 cases of hy pertension, a disease associated with stress, around two per cent were children. Further, in the 2,000 cases of Type I and II diabetes, around one per cent patients were children.
“We suspect this figure to have increased by at least one percent this time,” a senior official said. “Dependence on junk food and lack of physical activity are responsible, besides genetic causes.”
Doctors say childhood obesity is another key factor, which triggers such diseases among children.