Morbidity in India: Is the Country Facing the Dual Burden of Communicable and Non communicable Diseases?
Soumitra Ghosh, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
This paper examines the pattern, trend and determinants of morbidity prevalence in India using data on ‘morbidity and health care’ from 52nd (1995-96) and 60th round (2004) of NSSO. Prevalence of ailments and hospitalisation has risen significantly during 1995-96 to 2004. The reported prevalence of illnesses is greater among females than males. The age specific prevalence rate of morbidity followed a ‘J’ shape pattern. The prevalence of ailment shows a decline with increasing education. However, hospitalisation rate is positively associated with education and income. Household size and morbidity prevalence are found inversely related. The evidences from this study suggest that the country is at advanced phase of epidemiological transition in which the share of non-communicable diseases accounts for about 56 and 70 percent of reported ailment cases in the rural and urban areas respectively. However, communicable diseases like diarrhea, whooping cough, tuberculosis etc. still co-exist with non-communicable diseases diabetes, heart disease and hypertension.