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India may Lose Over $230 bn from Heart Diseases

Over two million people die of coronary diseases in India annually and the country stands to lose $236 billion in the next 10 years due to loss in productive working days and// treatment costs, say experts.

"Currently India is home to over 60 million coronary heart patients and more than two million patients are succumbing to the disease every year," well known cardiologist Naresh Trehan told IANS.

Trehan spoke on the eve of World Heart Day Sunday.

"The burden of the disease will weigh heavily on the economic backbone of the country unless people bring a change in their lifestyles. Along with the loss in human capital, the country's economy will suffer on account of loss in working days and treatment costs," said Trehan, executive director of the Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre here.

According to a World Health Organisation estimate, India's economic loss due to heart related disease could be $236 billion till 2015.

While Russia may lose $303 billion, China is expected to lose over $550 billion in the next decade.

Over 17 million people died of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack or stroke in 2005, WHO says. Contrary to popular belief, over 80 percent of the deaths occurred in low and middle-income countries.

The WHO has warned that Indians, being genetically prone to cardiac disorders, are likely to constitute about 60 percent of the world's cardiac patients by 2010.

Statistics show an alarming incidence of heart diseases among youngsters in India, said S.K. Gupta, senior cardiologist at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital.

Cases of heart diseases (per 100,000) increased from 145 males and 126 females in 1985 to 253 males and 204 females in 2000. "According to one estimate, more than 260 people are succumbing to the diseases for every 100,000 people."

Gupta said the prevalence of coronary heart diseases among the urban population
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