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20 per cent of Lankans dies of heart disease

The Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factors (GBD) - 2015 study revealed that 20.6 per cent of Sri Lankans died of ischemic heart disease (Coronary Heart Disease) last year.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University (IHMEU) of Washington said yesterday that the GBD - 2015 study identified it to be one among the top five causes of death in the country last year. The other causes were Cerebrovascular diseases (a group of conditions that affect the circulation of blood to the brain -11.8 percent), diabetes (7.9 per cent) asthma (5.2 per cent) and self harm (five per cent).

The GBD – 2015 also identified the top five causes of years lived with disability (YLDs). Low back and neck pain caused 11.4 percent of total YLDs, 10.6 per cent of sense organ diseases, 7.9 per cent diabetes, 6.6 percent due to skin diseases and 6.2 percent YLDs due to depressive disorders.

The top five causes of disability -adjusted life years (DALYs) in 2015 had been Ischemic heart disease, (9.5 percent), diabetes (6.8 per cent), low back and neck pain (5.1 per cent), self harm (five percent) and cerebrovascular diseases (4.67 percent).

High systolic blood pressure was responsible for 12 percent total DALYs last year. Identifying the top five risk factors in terms of DALYs for 2015, the GBD study revealed that high fasting plasma glucose was responsible for 10.7 percent total DALYs. 5.9 percent cholesterol, 5.7 percent high body mass index and 4.8 per cent diet low in whole grain.

The number of maternal deaths in 1990 had been 269 while the number of maternal deaths last year had dropped to 107. The Ratio of maternal deaths in 1990 per 100,000 live births had been 75.2 while last year it dipped to 33.1 per every 100,000 live births.

The life expectancy of women in 2005 had been 78 while it increased to 81.2 last year. In the same period life expectancy of men has risen from 70.1 to 74.1.

The IHME said that the new global burden of disease study had said that income, education and birth rates were not the only keys to healthy living in 195 countries. It said that improvements in sanitation, immunisation, indoor air quality and nutrition had enabled children in developing countries to live longer over the past 25 years.

However this progress was threatened by increasing numbers of people suffering serious health challenges related to obesity, high blood sugar levels, alcohol and drug abuse.