Ischemic heart disease--where blood supply to the heart is restricted--is the leading cause of death in India, causing 17.8% deaths in 2016, and the disease burden has increased 104% since 1990, according to a new national study.

The report, ‘India: Health of the Nation’s States, the India state level disease burden initiative’ also published in the medical journal Lancet, is the first state-level disease burden and risk factors estimate by the Indian Council for Medical Research, the Public Health Foundation of India and the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Disability Affected Life Years (DALYs) is a measure of overall disease burden, expressed as the number of years lost due to ill-health, disability or early death.

While the rate of DALYs for ischemic heart disease was 3,062 per 100,000 people for India, it was the highest in Punjab (5,759) followed by Tamil Nadu (4,788) and Haryana (4,244).

Other states with higher DALYs than national average were Andhra Pradesh (4,023), Maharashtra (3,658), Karnataka (3,892) and Gujarat (3,736).

Source: India: Health of the Nation's States

North-eastern states--with an average of 1,592 per 100,000 people--had lower rates of DALYs than the national average, as did the eight states in the empowered action group--Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh, which had an average of 2,383 per 100,000 people.

(Yadavar is a principal correspondent with IndiaSpend.)