New Delhi: Non-communicable diseases are estimated to have accounted for 60 per cent of the deaths in India in 2014, according to a WHO report released on Tuesday.
The probability of an Indian, in the age group of 30-70 years, dying at present from the four main non-communicable diseases -- diabetes, cancer, stroke and respiratory problems -- is 26 per cent, it said.
Nearly, 8.5 million people died of non-communicable diseases (NCD) in the WHO's South-East Asia Region in 2012, the global WHO report said, adding, the number is expected to grow larger if action is not taken to arrest the epidemic.
The report also said the death toll due to non-communicable diseases would mount to 52 million in 2030 from 38 million in 2012.
High rates of deaths and disease, particularly in low and middle income countries, is a reflection of inadequate investment in cost-effective NCD interventions, it said, adding, all governments must commit and set national NCD targets this year and implement policy and cost-effective interventions for prevention and control of these diseases.
The problem is growing, particularly in the South-East Asia Region, where two out of three deaths are caused by non-communicable diseases, it said.
WHO regional director for South-East Asia region Poonam Khetrapal Singh said that?most of the premature NCD deaths are preventable.
Promoting simple lifestyle changes and diet modifications can prevent these, she said.
The recommendations she stated include "best buys" or cost-effective, high-impact interventions such as banning all forms of tobacco and alcohol advertising, reducing salt consumption, replacing trans fats with polyunsaturated fats, promoting and protecting breastfeeding, early detection and treatment of high blood pressure and preventing cervical cancer through periodic screening.
Among the targets set by the WHO are a 30 per cent relative reduction in mean population intake of salt/sodium, a 30 per cent relative reduction in prevalence of current tobacco use in persons aged more than 15 years and a 25 per cent relative reduction in the prevalence of raised blood pressure or contain the prevalence of raised blood pressure.