Cardiovascular and infectious diseases in South Asia: the double whammy

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7443.781 (Published 01 April 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:781
  1. Buddha Basnyat, professor (rishibas@wlink.com.np),
  2. Lalini Chandika Rajapaksa, professor
  1. Institute of Medicine, Department of Clinical Physiology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal
  2. Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Innovation, political commitment, and new partnerships are needed

    The burden of disease in South Asia is changing. Unsafe water, poor sanitation, and unprotected sex are some of the familiar—and still important—risk factors for disease, while alcohol, tobacco, hypertension, and hypercholesterolaemia have lately become responsible for a major share. Two articles in this issue focus on the enormity and importance of both communicable and non-communicable diseases in the region.1 2 But what is the impact of this double burden and how might it be addressed?

    In 2000, 44% of the burden of disease in this region—measured in disability adjusted life years (DALYs)—was attributed to non-communicable diseases; communicable diseases, maternal and perinatal conditions, and nutritional deficiencies accounted for 43%.3 Coronary deaths in India are expected to double over 20 years and reach 2 …

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