Study shows glaring disparities in attitude of Indians towards health
New Delhi , Apr 20 : Even though 91pc Indians consider health a priority and intend to make healthy changes, a study suggests that almost one-third of the population does not care to visit physicians on time.healthi, India's preventive health provider, recently released a comprehensive report titled HEALTHI INSIGHTS INDIA 2017 based on one million health tests and related data points including health history and lifestyleover a period of 18 months (October 2015-March 2017).
The report has thrown open the wide gap that exists among Indians between wanting to be healthy and actually taking adequate efforts to achieve the goal.
It also sheds some light on how perceptions regarding health often vary from reality, particularly among younger people.
According to the study, getting healthy starts with the mind, with 91% of those assessed indicating that they are en route to changing or have made necessary lifestyle changes for better health.
Men from Mumbai (93%) lead the race when it comes to considering health a priority whereas men from Chennai (82%) fare the worst.
Women, on the other hand, irrespective of the city that they belong to (Pune 100%, Delhi/NCR 99%, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore 98%, Chennai 97%), are aware of the importance of being healthy.
The contradiction, however, lies in the fact that over 28% of the total population that is in need of medical help doesn't visit physicians on time.
The study also evaluates health outcomes across various professional sectors such as BFSI, IT/ITES, Manufacturing, Retail, and non-IT services.
Obesity is the highest amongst people working in the Retail sector with around 71% women and 83% men suffering from it.
High cholesterol is another prominent condition plaguing the working population. It is often triggered by a faulty diet, stress, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking and drinking. According to the report, 15% women and 29% men in the BFSI sector, 24% women and 42% men in IT/ITES, 12% women and 22% men in Manufacturing, 24% women and 39% men in Retail and 11% women and 27% men in the Non-IT services suffer from high cholesterol and are at a high risk of developing diabetes and hypertension.
Speaking about the insights gathered, Rekuram Varadharaj and Krishna Ulagaratchagan, Co-Founders, healthi in a joint statement said, "HEALTHI INSIGHTS INDIA 2017 highlights the potential that harnessing technology like intelligent predictive analytics and big data models can bring to preventive health and population health management. The study presents unique insights not only about prevalence (i.e. people who already have a condition) but also scientifically valid assessments of people who are at risk of serious chronic illnesses."
"To millions of Indians, preventive health, if any, ends at a health check, a short consultation and a prayer. Startling national women health statistics like 26%+ suffering fromanemia, 88% from Vitamin D deficiency (necessary for boneand potentially hearthealth) and 12%+ with abnormal TSH levelsnecessitate the need for timely detection and treatment. We have also observed how genetic predisposition and changing lifestyle lead to disproportionate chronic diseaseprevalence and risk even among younger Indians. It is important to set complacencyaside and cultivate effective healthy habits and lifestyle early. Seeking help at the right time is key."
In the study, the population is divided into three different groups. The below-30 age group is categorized as "Young Invincibles".
The 30 to 40 age group is categorized, as "Not-so-bulletproofs" and the third group is the above-40 category named as "Mere Mortals".
It is interesting to note that about 30% of the male population and 15% of the female population under 30 in India already have or are at a high risk of hypertension; 21% men and 9% womenare at a high risk of diabetes; and 11% women and 23% men suffer from high cholesterol. Weight problems, insufficient physical activity, smoking, stress, anxiety, and depression are the top lifestyle issues affecting people across all age groups.
The study also finds that 20% of the population lives a sedentary lifestyle and therefore is at a two times higher risk of getting coronary heart disease.
Overall, 91% of the women currently do not screen for cervical cancer and 88% for breast cancer, both ailments where timely detection and treatment can help save lives.
It is a known fact that despite rising awareness, growing investments by enlightened employers and the government, and increasing availability of well-qualified practitioners and facilities, India continues to lead the world in prevalence and risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
healthi hopes that the insights gathered can help turn the tide in managing chronic and lifestyle diseases by driving impactful preventive health policies and strategies in India.
The cities covered in the report include Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi/NCR, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Pune.