Surveys conducted across Punjab showed that 40% of the population is either overweight or obese and just under half the Punjab is at a high risk of contracting kidney ailments. Moreover, prevalence rate of diabetes is five percent higher than the national average!
A study conducted by the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Research and Punjab Government Hospitals showed risk exposure of non-communicable diseases with alarming findings
This study was conducted over 18 months in 22 districts of the state. Out of 5400 respondents, 5127 participated in the three phase system of this survey, which included biological, behavioural and measurement pattern.
Participants of this survey were between 18 and 69 years of age in 2014-15. Some participating partners of this study were Government Medical Colleges of Amritsar, Faridkot and Patiala, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana and PGI
Some of the findings of the study submitted to the State Government are the following:
• Along with a high prevalence of NCD risk factors in the state, the study found that the factors are present uniformly without any “significant difference by gender or rural urban differences”
• 41 per cent of respondents were overweight and obese in the survey. If waist circumference is considered, more than 80 per cent of respondents were overweight with central obesity.
• The prevalence rate of diabetes was also high (14 per cent), higher than the national nine per cent. The study found more than one-fifth of the adult population having raised triglycerides.
• Albumin creatinine ratio, an indicator of risk for chronic kidney diseases, was 44 per cent of population.
• Raised blood pressure was present in 42 per cent of respondents but they were not undergoing any treatment.
Since the information is now published in the public domain, it is the public who needs to understand the seriousness of this problem.
The study also found absence of physical activity among 75 per cent of the population, which contributed towards the primary factor for the rise in obesity. Experts suggest that this could also be a contributing reason for high prevalence of hyper tension in the state (almost 40 per cent)
In addition to the above mentioned contributors, there is also prevalence of 13. 1 per cent of tobacco habit along with 27 per cent of regular drinkers, out of which 9 per cent are excessive drinkers.
Strengthening of health promotion activities in different settings, preventive health screening package, better treatment facilities, effective implementation of NCD in the state are the some of the recommendations in the study. Besides, a draft action plan has also been recommended