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Gujarat has higher-than-average mortality rate of men in 15-69 age group, reveals "Lancet" study

Counterview Desk
A new study, published in well-known international health journal, “Lancet” (December 2015), has found that, in Gujarat, the mortality rate for men in the age-group 15-69 is 8.8 per 1000, which is higher than the national average (8.1), and for women it is 5.2 per 1000, lower than the national average (5.6).
Calculated as age-standardised mortality rate (ASMR), the study, which carries figures of 597 districts of India, finds that, out of 20 major Indian states for which data have been analyzed, as many as 11 Indian states’ male mortality rate in this age group is lower than that of Gujarat. As for females, seven states have lower mortality rate than Gujarat.
Titled “Age-specific and sex-specific adult mortality risk in India in 2014: Analysis of 0·27 million nationally surveyed deaths and demographic estimates from 597 districts”, and carried out a group of 13 scholars led by Prof Usha Ram, the study has also found that there are six “high mortality districts” in Gujarat.
On the other hand, of the 26 Gujarat districts analyzed by the study, there are just three, which fall in the category of low mortality districts. ASMR has been calculated as probability of dying between birth and the age of 100 years.
What is particularly interesting is, some of the more “advanced” districts also figure in the list of high mortality category. The six Gujarat districts where the mortality rate was found to be high, both for men and women are Patan, Mehsana, Surendranagar, Kheda, Narmada and Bharuch.
Pointing towards the reason why it chose the age group 15-69, the study says, “At the rate of deaths in 2014, about 50 per cent of all Indian men and 40 per cent of all Indian women could expect to die by the age of 70 years, compared with 24 per cent of men and 13 per cent of women in high-income countries.”
The study believes, “Vascular disease, tuberculosis, malaria and other infections, and respiratory diseases accounted for about 60 per cent of the absolute gap in adult mortality risk at ages 15–69 years between high-mortality and low-mortality districts.”
In Points out, “In 2014, 428 million men and 408 million women in India were 15–69 years of age, and 3·0 million men and 2·1 million women died. Most deaths happened at an age of 30–69 years, and men aged 15–69 years had about a third greater mortality risk than women in that age group.”
The study further says, “Premature adult mortality is of increasing importance in India and other low-income and middle-income countries. We found strikingly large differences in adult mortality between Indian districts, nearly approaching the survival gap between India as a whole country and high-income countries.”
“The large mortality excesses from not just infections but also selected non-communicable diseases in otherwise similar districts suggests measurable differences in largely unknown causative factors and in some intermediate determinants of disease risk”, the study says.
It adds, “One important, albeit still speculative, hypothesis for these patterns of high adult mortality risks in parts of India could be chronic infection or malnutrition in childhood leading to reduced adult height attainment and high anaemia levels.”
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Click HERE to download death rate data of all Indian districts

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