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Chronic Diseases Rampant In Rural India

tors for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke are common in this community. We have previously shown that over one fifth of adults have high blood pressure, one quarter are smokers and abut the same proportion are overweight. We also know that the management of these risks remains poor," Dr Joshi added.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for more than 16 million deaths annually. The majority of these deaths now occur in developing countries such as India, where rates of heart attack and stroke have ballooned in the last few decades. In addition, because cardiovascular diseases occur earlier in life in developing regions, the economic impact is enormous. It is estimated that cardiovascular conditions will trim more that 1% from India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2015.

The study involved 45 villages in East and West Godavari Districts of Andhra Pradesh, with a population of more than 180,000. Whilst the villages enrolled in this study are more developed than many rural regions in India, the results are seen to be indicative of the new health issues that much of rural India will face in the coming decade.

Associate Professor Bruce Neal, a Senior Director at The George Institute, explained that "These results confirm the speed with which health problems are changing in even quite rural areas of India. The growth of conditions like diabetes is going to drive a huge increase in heart disease and stroke in regions that are not well equipped to deal with such diseases," he said.

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