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Number of stroke cases likely to touch 17 lakh in 2015

Job stress and stiff competition in a fast changing economic scenario have started taking their toll in India where the number of stroke cases is likely to reach 17 lakh by 2015, with upto 30 per cent of patients being below 40 years of age.

Data collected from hospitals across the country indicate that 15 to 30 per cent of stroke cases are occurring in persons below the age of 40.

The figures were arrived at by the Union Health Ministry based on the report of the National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health.

The number of stroke cases is likely to increase from 12 lakh in 2005 to 17 lakh in 2015, the report said.

The government is trying to address the disease burden of the non-communicable diseases including stroke cases by formulating a National Programme for Prevention and Control of Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke (NPDCS), health ministry officials said.

Initially, the programme is proposed to be implemented in 100 districts in 15 states and Union Territories.

According to officials, under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), funds have been provided to states and UTs to strengthen their health infrastructure.

Latest research published in the 'The Lancet' finds that India will bear 60 per cent of the world's heart disease burden in the next two years.

In addition, researchers have determined that compared to people in other developed countries, the average age of patients with heart disease is lower among Indian people and Indians are more likely to have types of heart disease that lead to worse outcomes.

The leading cause of death in the world is ischemic heart disease, a condition characterised by reduced blood supply to the heart that is usually due to coronary artery disease.

In 2001 alone, some 7.1 million deaths were attributed to ischemic heart disease, 80 per cent of which were in relatively poor countries.

Medical and public health professionals expect that in developing countries, there will be a 137 per cent and 120 per cent increase in the disease among males and females respectively, whereas these predictions lie in the 30 per cent to 60 per cent range for developed countries.

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