Years of life lost to deaths, disability in road accidents highest in J&K: Study

Years of potential life lost to deaths and disability caused by road accidents is the highest in Jammu and Kashmir than the rest of the states, a study shows.
Years of life lost to deaths, disability in road accidents highest in J&K: Study
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Years of potential life lost to deaths and disability caused by road accidents is the highest in Jammu and Kashmir than the rest of the states, a study shows.

While at all-India level, road injuries were the 10th leading cause of death, contributing 2.9 percent of all deaths, in J&K road accidents were the third leading cause of death, contributing a total of 5.3 percent.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recently released Health of the Nation's States, a comprehensive report evaluating the state-wise trends of diseases and causes of death and disability.

In J&K, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost due to road injuries were the highest among all states of India in 2016, the year for which figures have been analysed.

The DALY is an estimate of "years of healthy life lost to premature death and suffering" and are the sum of the years of life lost, and the years lived with disability, calculated per 100,000.

The report, first of its kind, is an estimate of the state-level disease burden and risk factors. In J&K, 1614 years of life per 100,000 are lost to death and disability by road accidents.

In Uttrakhand, which stands at number two in the list, 1481 DALYs have been recorded.

"Among the leading causes of injuries, the DALY rate for road injuries was the highest in Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Haryana, and Punjab, followed by Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh," the report states.

The report, which also compared the available data with that of 1990, shows that over the years, accidents had increased significantly in all states, but more in J&K.

While in 1990, road injuries stood at number seven among the causes of death and disability in the state, it has jumped four places since then and is currently the third leading cause of death.

Road injuries caused most deaths in the young, productive age group, said the study. It reveals that 20.9 percent of all deaths in age group 15-39 years were due to transport injuries. The number of males killed in the accidents is six times that of the females.

Dr Parvaiz A Koul, who is the sole researcher from J&K to contribute to the study, said that India as a whole ranks poorly on health care performance and J&K was no better.

"One part of addressing the problem is improving access and quality of healthcare in J&K so that more lives can be saved and there is less burden of disability. The other part, and perhaps the more important one in this case (road injuries), was to devise and implement strategies to reduce road accidents," he said.

Dr Koul said the poor healthcare expenditure in India in general and J&K in particular was a grave concern.

"The central Government has a disappointing target of 2.5% of GDP for healthcare spending by 2025, against the average of 6% by other countries. Poor states like J&K can do very little in absence of federal support and our government needs to take up the cause of healthcare spending with the central government towards achieving the objective of improving healthcare indices," he said

Greater Kashmir
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