- About 45% young people in the age group 25-45 consult doctors about prevention of health issues occurring because of unhealthy lifestyle
- Interactions around Diabetes, Cardiovascular diseases, Cancer, Hypertension show staggering growth over 2015
- Women continue to lag behind men in reaching out to doctors for their health issues, though the gap has marginally bridged over 2015
The young population of India has become wary of diseases cropping up because of unhealthy lifestyle, pushing them to reach out to doctors for help on their prevention and early diagnosis, states Lybrate Healthscape India 2016, in a welcoming sign that can have far-reaching positive impact on Indian healthcare system in the future.
As per Lybrate’s annual report, about 45% young people, falling in the age group 20-45 years, actively consult doctors for prevention of diseases that arise out of lifestyle issues, while majority of others reach out to healthcare experts for issues related to either sexual or mental health.
Lybrate, India’s first and largest online doctor consultation platform, released the report today post analysis of around 70 million interactions, including booking of lab tests, that happened on the platform over a period of 12 months, starting January 1 this year.
The top seven lifestyle issues, the report points out, that hovered greatly on the minds of young Indians which they want to stay away from include Diabetes, Cardiovascular diseases, Cancer and Hypertension.
Interactions around Diabetes witnessed a staggering growth of 250% over 2015, followed by Cardiovascular Diseases (210%), Cancer (195%), Hypertension (190%), Obesity (150%), Vitamin/Mineral Deficiency (150%) and COPD (140%). Majority of the interactions happened around prevention, but there has also been a remarkable rise in interactions on treatment of these diseases from those who are already suffering from them.
Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, hypertension and COPD are non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that put extreme burden on Indian households and healthcare delivery systems. NCDs lead to about 40% of all hospital stays and roughly 35% of all recorded outpatient visits in India.
“The inclination of young people towards preventive health assumes greater significance given the pressure it builds on the country’s healthcare infrastructure. The awareness will bring about a huge change in the behavior towards health and greatly reduce the cost burden on households and healthcare delivery in the country. The Lybrate platform has proved how accessibility to trusted doctors and availability of authenticated medical information around health issues can help change the mindset of people and immensely improve healthcare delivery in India. We are committed to doing our bit in improving the healthcare scenario in the country and these insights are important to set the direction of healthcare delivery to make it accessible and affordable,” said Saurabh Arora, Founder and CEO, Lybrate.
While preventive health has gained prominence among people in Tier 1 cities, people from Tier 2 & 3 cities too have become conscious about it. However, in Tier 2 & 3 cities, the data shows, people are more inclined to discuss issues related to their sexual or mental health. The interactions over stress and depression have remarkably increased from these cities in the last one year, showing the stigma attached to these subjects is fading away even in small towns and cities of the country.
The male, female ratio on touching base with healthcare experts continues to remain skewed across India, stressing on the dire need for more awareness among the female gender. Women, especially from small Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, are still dependent on their male partners to reach out to doctor for their health issues. Efforts need to be made for reversal of the trend to make healthcare delivery cohesive and progressive. The data reflected that overall awareness about sexual and mental health has increased among those in the age bracket 18-24 years across big cities and towns in the country. However, growing interactions around safe sex and dealing with depression from smaller towns press for the need to encourage the behavior with concrete interventions and policies.
With rise in pollution levels in Delhi and Bangalore in the month of November, interactions around respiratory issues saw a significant rise, while during Dengue and Chikungunya outbreak in the period between July and September, Delhi witnessed maximum number of interactions taking place with doctors. In Chennai and Kolkata, women have been more proactive about their health issues compared to any other metropolitan city. Prevention of lifestyle diseases is what made most of the people from Mumbai and Hyderabad reach out to doctors.
*Interactions are defined by cumulative sum of searches for doctors, lab tests booked, health queries sought, patient-doctor communication and appointments booked.