Of the total disease burden in India in 1990, a tenth was caused by a group of risks including unhealthy diet, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and overweight, which mainly contribute to ischaemic heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
The contribution of this group of risks increased massively to a quarter of the total disease burden in India in 2016. The combination of these risks was highest in Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra in 2016, but importantly, the contribution of these risks has increased in every state of the country since 1990.
The other significant contributor to cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, as well as to cancers and some other diseases, is tobacco use, which was responsible for 6% of the total disease burden in India in 2016. All of these risks are generally higher in males than in females.
The sweeping increase of the burden due to this combination of risks in every part of the country indicates emphatically that major efforts need to be put in place to control their impact in every state before the situation gets totally out of control.