Lancet Study Current Affairs - 2019
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According to recent study published in Lancet Global Health journal, at least 34% of India’s population is insufficiently active. The levels of insufficient activity were higher among women at 48%, while prevalence was 22 %among men. The study was undertaken by researchers from World Health Organisation (WHO). It was based on self-reported activity levels, including activity at work and at home, for transport, and during leisure time in adults aged 18 years and older from 358 population-based surveys in 168 countries.
Key Findings of Study
Globally, more than 1.4 billion adults are at risk of diseases from not doing enough physical activity as around one in three women (32%) and one in four men (23%) do not do enough physical activity to stay healthy. Levels of insufficient physical activity are more than twice as high in high income countries compared with low income countries.
The highest rates of insufficient activity in 2016 were found in adults in Kuwait, American Samoa, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, where more than half of all adults were insufficiently active. Comparatively, around 40% of adults in United States, 36% in UK and 14% in China were insufficiently active. India was ranked 52nd (with 1 being the most inactive, and 168 being the most active) among 168 countries.
Insufficient physical activity puts people at greater risk of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, dementia, and some cancers. If current trends continue, 2025 global activity target of 10% relative reduction in insufficient physical activity will not be met.
Cities needed to be more walk friendly and more opportunities for physical activity in public open spaces and parks in workplaces need to be created. The recommended levels of physical activity are at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. It is also necessary to promote and improve women’s access to opportunities that are safe, affordable and culturally acceptable to address inequalities in physical activity levels between men and women. WHO Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (2018-30) provides selection of policy options targeting different settings and population groups that can be adapted and tailored to local contexts in all countries.
India ranked 145th among 195 countries in terms of Healthcare access and quality (HAQ) index in the year 2016, behind its neighbours like China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. The index was released as part of Global Burden of Disease study released by Lancet, one of the world’s oldest and best known peer-reviewed general medical journal.
Healthcare access and quality (HAQ) Index
The study used index to measure quality and accessibility of healthcare, based on 32 causes of death which should be preventable with effective medical care. Each of 195 countries and territories assessed were given score between 0 (lowest)-100 (highest). For the first time, it also analysed healthcare access and quality between regions within seven countries: Brazil, China, India, England, Japan, Mexico, and US.
Top five countries with highest levels of healthcare access and quality in 2016 are Iceland (rank-1st, score-97.1 points), Norway (2nd, 96.6), Netherlands (3rd, 96.1), Luxembourg (4th, 96.0), and Finland and Australia (5th, each with 95.9).
The global average healthcare access and quality score in 2016 was 54.4, increasing from 42.4 points in 2000. The countries with lowest scores are Central African Republic (18.6), Somalia (19.0), Guinea-Bissau (23.4), Chad (25.4), and Afghanistan (25.9).
India’s Neighbours: India lags behind China (48th), Sri Lanka (71st), Bangladesh (133rd) and Bhutan (134th) in terms of levels of healthcare access and quality. But it is better than Nepal (149th), Pakistan (154th) and Afghanistan (191st).
India related Facts
India has seen improvements in healthcare access and quality since 1990. In 2016, India’s healthcare access and quality scored at 41.2 (up from 24.7 in 1990). India performed poorly in tackling cases of rheumatic heart diseases, Ischaemic heart diseases, stroke, tuberculosis, testicular cancer, colon cancer and chronic kidney disease among others. Though, India’s improvements on HAQ index has hastened from 2000 to 2016, but gap between country’s highest and lowest scores widened (23·4-point difference in 1990, and 30·8-point difference in 2016). Goa and Kerala have highest HAQ index scores in 2016, each exceeding 60 points, whereas Assam and Uttar Pradesh have lowest, each below 40.