Prevalence of lifestyle diseases in India: Dyslipidemia
Dyslipidemia is marked by high levels of plasma cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) that contribute to atherosclerosis, metabolic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and coronary artery disease. Indians are at a high risk for dyslipidemia, primarily due to genetics and other factors, such as food choices and a sedentary lifestyle with urbanization. Indian populations have been diagnosed with lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL or good cholesterol) as well as with high levels of LDLs and triglycerides.
A study determining the lipid abnormalities in India was conducted recently in 2013. Studies reveal that lipid abnormalities were highest in populations residing in Chandigarh (82.9%), Jharkhand (80%), Maharashtra (77%) and Tamil Nadu (76.9%). There was no significant difference observed between urban and rural populations in the above regions. It was also observed that females had higher lipid abnormalities compared to males. Dyslipidemia was observed in all male (41%) and females (58%) across ages between 30 and 55. In addition to the age factor, urban residence, high income, overweight/obesity, abdominal obesity, fat and oil intake, diabetes and hypertension were also considered. Increased levels of triglyceride and cholesterol were associated with the above factors1. Dyslipidemia is linearly linked to cardiovascular diseases, prehypertension and hypertension and diabetes mellitus. The population studied with lipid abnormalities had one of the above diseases with increasing age, due to accumulation of lipoproteins and triglycerides in the arteries of heart. One of the reasons for lipid abnormalities in Indian population could be due to high intake of oil and ghee in food, and the lack of moderate to physical activity. Metabolic syndromes like overweight/obesity, prehypertension due to genetic factors also contribute towards dyslipidemia2.
It is difficult to prevent dyslipidemia in the Indian population, mainly because of the food choices that they make. High dietary salt intake, usage of oil and ghee, consumption of processed food can be reduced only by awareness. Also the lack of quality of healthcare in many rural communities, lack of awareness, cultural and ethnical differences reflects the overall health status in India.
1. Joshi SR, Anjana RM, Deepa M, Pradeepa R, Bhansali A, Dhandania VK, Joshi PP, Unnikrishnan R, Nirmal E, Subashini R, Madhu SV, Rao PV, Das AK, Kaur T, Shukla DK, Mohan V; ICMR-INDIAB Collaborative Study Group (2014), ‘Prevalence of dyslipidemia in urban and rural India: the ICMR-INDIAB study’, PLoS One, 9:9(5)
2. Mithal A, Majhi D, Shunmugavelu M, Talwarkar PG, Vasnawala H, and Raza AS, (2014), ‘Prevalence of dyslipidemia in adult Indian diabetic patients: A cross sectional study (SOLID)’, Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 18(5): 642