healthi survey exposes glaring disparities of Indians towards health

The report on preventive health evaluated a sample size of over one million over a period of 18 months and covered people in various cities across India

healthi, India’s fastest growing digital preventive health start up released a comprehensive report titled Health Insights India 2017. The report has showcased wide gap that exists among Indians between wanting to be healthy and actually taking adequate efforts to achieve the goal. It also sheds some light on how perceptions regarding health often vary from reality, particularly among younger people.

The comprehensive report on preventive healthcare was done with a sample size of one million health tests and related data points including health history and lifestyle; over a period of 18 months (October 2015–March 2017). The report divulged that over 28 per cent of the total population that is in need of medical help doesn’t visit physicians on time.

Giving a snapshot on attitude of men and women towards health, the survey indicated that 93 per cent men from Mumbai lead the race when it comes to considering health a priority whereas men from Chennai fare the worst with 82 per cent. Women on the other hand irrespective of the city that they belong to (Pune 100 per cent , Delhi/NCR 99 per cent, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru 98 per cent and Chennai 97 per cent) were aware about the importance of being healthy.

The study also evaluates health outcomes across various professional sectors such as BFSI, IT/ITES, manufacturing, retail, and non-IT services. Obesity was seen more in retail sector with a whopping 71 per cent women and 83 per cent men suffering from it. High cholesterol is another prominent condition plaguing the working population. It is often triggered by a faulty diet, stress, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking and drinking.

According to the report, 15 per cent women and 29 per cent men in the BFSI sector, 24 per cent women and 42 per cent men in IT and ITES, 12 per cent women and 22 per cent men in manufacturing, 24 per cent women and 39 per cent men in retail and 11 per cent women and 27 per cent men in the non-IT services suffer from high cholesterol and are at a high risk of developing diabetes and hypertension.

Speaking about the insights gathered, Rekuram Varadharaj and Krishna Ulagaratchagan, Co-Founders, healthi in a joint statement said, “healthi Insights India 2017 highlights the potential that harnessing technology like intelligent predictive analytics and big data models can bring to preventive health and population health management. The study presents unique insights not only about prevalence but also scientifically valid assessments of people who are at risk of serious chronic illnesses.”

Highlighting the national women health statistics the joint statement of the co-founders informed, “ Over 26 per cent suffering from anaemia, 88 per cent have Vitamin D deficiency (necessary for bone and potentially heart health) and 12 per cent with abnormal TSH levels necessitate the need for timely detection and treatment. We have also observed how genetic predisposition and changing lifestyle lead to disproportionate chronic disease prevalence and risk even among younger Indians. It is important to set complacency aside and cultivate effective healthy habits and lifestyle early. Seeking help at the right time is key.”

Shortlisting the top health issues faced by people pan India, the report revealed that weight problems, insufficient physical activity, smoking, stress, anxiety, and depression are the top lifestyle issues affecting people across all age groups. About 30 per cent of the male population and 15 per cent of the female population under 30 in India already have or are at a high risk of hypertension; 21 per cent men and nine per cent women are at a high risk of diabetes; and 11 per cent women and 23 per cent men suffer from high cholesterol.

The findings of the report indicated that 20 per cent of the population lives a sedentary lifestyle and therefore is at a two times higher risk of getting coronary heart disease. Overall, 91 per cent of the women currently do not screen for cervical cancer and 88 per cent for breast cancer, both ailments where timely detection and treatment can help save lives.

healthi stated that it is a known fact that despite rising awareness, growing investments by enlightened employers and the government, and increasing availability of well-qualified practitioners and facilities, India continues to lead the world in prevalence and risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. The start-up hoped that the insights gathered can help turn the tide in managing chronic and lifestyle diseases by driving impactful preventive health policies and strategies in India.