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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lifestyle diseases remain No. 1 killer of Mumbaikars

Heart Ailments Top List, Fall In Diabetes Deaths

Mumbai: Lifestyle diseases have emerged as bigger killers than infectious ones in Mumbai yet again. Heart ailments and heart attacks topped the BMC's list of top 10 
killer diseases for 2011, the sixth consecutive year that they have occupied the slot. 
    Blame it on our sedentary lifestyle or unhealthy diet, with every passing year, more and more people in the city are dying of non-communicable diseases. 
    Tuberculosis is second on the BMC's list, followed by cancer, pneumonia and lower respiratory ailments. The silver lining in this otherwise dark cloud is that death due to diabetes—another lifestyle disease affecting Mumbaikars—has dropped 22% from 2,920 in 2010 to 2,270 in 2011. 
    That Mumbaikars are susceptible to cardiac arrests and related diseases does not surprise doctors. Death certificates issued by the BMC for 2011 show that 26,540 Mumbaikars died of heart diseases and heart attacks between January 1 and December 31. That's a 1.5% rise in deaths due to cardiac problems since 2010. Dr Arun Bamne, joint executive health officer in the BMC, said, "Mumbaikars have a habit of consuming junk food. Coupled with a lack of physical activity and exercise, cardiac problems are only going to increase." 
    Experts say heart diseases alone cannot be blamed for the deaths. For instance, a heart attack may occur as a culmination of problems like diabetes, kidney failure or even lung fibrosis. But Bamne said in such cases the death certificate will mention more than one cause. Diabetes a bigger killer than malaria, dengue 
Mumbai: According to Arun Bamne, joint executive health officer in the BMC, in case more than one disease has led to a person's death, the same will be mentioned in the death certificate. "For instance, it will be mentioned that the person died of a heart attack which was probably triggered by diabetes. Such a death will be counted as a diabetes death. But if a person had developed a heart disease without being a diabetic patient, then we will count it as a cardiac death," he said. 
    Cancer, which ranks third on the list of deadly diseases in Mumbai, claimed 5,524 lives in 2011—a 3% increase from 2010 when 5,360 people succumbed to the disease.Thefigureswerehigher in 2009, when a total of 6,098 Mumbaikars had died. 
    Dr Surendra Shastri, head of preventive oncology at Tata Memorial Hospital, said, "According to a publication by the Indian Cancer Society, if age-specific deaths are taken into consideration, then cervical cancer mortalities have decreased and breast cancer deaths have increased slightly. Most other cancer-related deaths have remained more or less similar." He attributed the rise in cancer deaths to the growing population. "What we need are better facilities to provide early diagnosis and better treatment. The city also needs active data collection on cancer so that a proper trend can be spotted." 
    Diabetes, the eighth deadliest killer, claimed 2,270 lives in 2011, a 22% fall over 2010. The number of deaths is still significant, say doctors, because diabetes kills more people than communicable diseases like malaria, dengue and leptospirosis.


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