28 April 2010
By Pratibha Masand
Lifestyle Diseases Take A Toll On Sedentary Citizens
“The rise in tuberculosis cases does not come as a surprise as Mumbai is a congested city. As the disease spreads when affected people cough, sneeze or spit, the chances of a patient’s family member catching TB is very high,’’ said Dr G T Ambe, executive health officer of BMC.
Pneumonia, which is described as an abnormal inflammatory condition of the lung, is the fourth biggest killer, with 4,352 victims. There was a 6.09% rise in deaths due to pneumonia.
The third killer on the list, cancer, has extended its tentacles rapidly; in the span of one year, there has been a 9.32% rise in cancer deaths. BMC’s senior statistical officer, P K Shrivastav said: ‘‘Most people suffering from cancer come to Mumbai from other parts of the country for treatment. Many are the last stage. Also, you cannot ignore the fact that there are different types of cancer, which is the reason why it has more victims than singular diseases.’’
Incidentally, death due to AIDs did not make it to the top five. BMC officials said it was eighth on the list. What’s hard to ignore is that lifestyle diseases have emerged as top killers. At least three killer diseases may be caused due to stress. According to doctors, even stress can indirectly trigger diseases such as COPD and pneumonia. The onus also rests on the shoulders of Mumbaikars. There is an urgent need for citizens to eat healthy and exercise regularly, say doctors.
Pollution & smoking take a toll on lungs
Mumbai: The more than 20% rise in deaths due to respiratory tract infections such as COPD has not come as a surprise. According to the recent Maharashtra State Health Family Welfare Bureau, asthma alone–that can be controlled with daily puffs of inhalers–accounted for 8% of all deaths in the 15–to–49 age group of Maharashtra’s women in 2008.
Dr Rohini Chowghule, head of medicine at Bombay Hospital says that almost 9% of Mumbaikars suffer from COPD. “The quality of air itself has deteriorated. Even though smoking is one of the major reasons, one cannot discount the high levels of pollution. While the city has to breathe in the polluted air, those with weak lungs or lower immunity fall prey to these obstructive disorders,’’ Dr Chowghule said. COPD also includes emphysema, a disorder of the lung that causes it to lose its elasticity.