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WHO links heart attacks to poverty.

MAJORITY of population in India is deprived of health insurance. Even the minuscule chunk, which is covered health wise, ends up facing catastrophic expenditures in the event of heart ailments, a World Health Organisation ( WHO) study revealed.

The prospective study " Catastrophic health expenditure after acute coronary events in Asia" states that Indians and Chinese have to undergo maximum ' out of pocket' costs and suffer maximum catastrophic health spend when hospitalised after heart attack ( Acute Coronary Syndromes), or ACS, in Asia.

Data from India shows that 60 per cent of uninsured and 20 per cent of insured participants reported catastrophic health spend. Similarly, the occurrence of catastrophic expenditure ranged from 80 per cent in uninsured and 56 per cent of insured in China. The researchers collected data from 9,373 patients enrolled in leading hospitals across seven countries and one region of Asia -- India, China, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong ( SAR). In the Indian sub continent, researchers from Department of Cardiology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, collected data from 1,635 patients in 48 hospitals.

" We assessed the catastrophic health expenditure on the basis of whether a patient had incurred out- of- pocket treatment costs greater than 30 per cent of the annual baseline household income at six weeks follow- up," said Dr Jitendra PS Sawhney, Chairman, Department of Cardiology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. Dr Sawhney is co- author and national coordinator ( India) of the study.

" The study also shows that the burden of out- of- pocket costs associated with treatment for acute coronary syndromes in Asia can be substantial, reflecting the limited financial protection available for these conditions during hospitalisation.

It directly depicts high rate of financial catastrophe, particularly in China and India," he said.

The study, which is said to be the largest ever prospective observational study of household economic burden associated with treatment of acute coronary syndromes in Asia, found that the average out- ofpocket cost was ` 1,75,769. In Indians, it was about ` 1,41,180 for the average age of patients at 60. " Notably, in India, China, Thailand and Vietnam, patients with health insurance have significantly lower risks of financial catastrophe than those without insurance. Out of total patients from the Asian Continent, 56 per cent reported catastrophic health expenditure; of these, there was a significantly greater proportion in occurrence of this outcome in uninsured -- 66 per cent compared with insured 52 per cent," said Dr Sawhney.

National Health Profile 2015, compiled by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence, puts less than a fifth of India's population as covered under health insurance.

Even among those who have some form of coverage, 67 per cent are covered by public insurance companies. Acute coronary syndromes are caused by sudden, reduced blood flow to the heart muscle. These conditions are a major cause of mortality and morbidity in the Asia- Pacific region and account for around half of the global burden from these conditions -- around seven million deaths and 129 million disability- adjusted life years annually from 1990 to 2010.

Indians and Chinese suffer maximum financial catastrophe in Asia during acute coronary event.

Sixty per cent uninsured and 20 per cent insured Indian patients spend over 30 per cent of annual household income on hospitalisation.

Asians on an average spend ` 1.75 lakh on hospitalisation due to an acute coronary event.

National Health Profile 2015, compiled by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence, puts less than a fifth of India's population is covered under health insurance.

Even among those who have some form of coverage, 67 per cent are covered by public insurance firms.

This may be the largest study of economic burden associated with treatment of acute coronary syndromes in Asia THE COVER STORY

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Article Type:Clinical report
Geographic Code:90ASI
Date:Feb 19, 2016
Words:636
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