Air pollution has risen as a major cause for premature mortality in India as 12.4 lakh deaths have been recorded in 2017 owing to it, according to the latest report.
Published by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and The Lancet, the report suggests that out of 12.4 lakh deaths, 6.7 lakh deaths have been due to outdoor particulate matter air pollution while 4.8 lakh deaths were due to household air pollution.
‘A new study states that 26 percent of global premature death and disease burden by air pollution occurs in India.’
The finding, which is a part of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017, is based on comparisons of health loss caused by different diseases and risk factors between different geographies, sexes, and age groups, and over time in a unified framework.
The study also found that one in eight deaths in India was attributed to air pollution in India in 2017, making it a leading risk factor for deaths in India. Globally, India suffered 26 percent of premature mortality and health loss attributable to air pollution.
According to the study, “77 percent population was exposed to ambient particulate matter PM 2.5 above 40 milligrams. The highest PM 2.5 exposure level was in Delhi, followed by other north Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Haryana.”
The Disability-Adjusted Life Year (DALYs) attributable to air pollution for major non-communicable diseases, which included chronic obstructive lung disease, ischemic heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even lung cancer, were as high as those compared to tobacco consumption.
According to the study, the average life expectancy in India would have been 1.7 years higher if air pollution level was less than the minimal level, with the highest increases in the northern states of Rajasthan (2.5 years), Uttar Pradesh (2.2 years) and Haryana (2.1 years).