The number of acute respiratory infections (ARI) cases have risen by 5 million since 2012 in India due to deteriorating air quality, according to a data released by the government.
ARI deaths began to decline since 2012. A strong link between air pollution and respiratory diseases has been identified. While ARI cases rose the number of deaths due to the disease have started to decline. As many as 2,932 people died due to acute respiratory infection in 2014, as against 3513 in the previous year, according to the 'National Health Profile 2015' released by health minister J P Nadda.
The National Health Profile 2015, published by Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI), covers demographic, socio-economic, health status and health finance indicators, along with comprehensive information on health infrastructure and human resources in health. In 2014 around 3.5 crore ARI cases were reported , out of which 1.7 crore were females and 1.8 crore were men, the data show. On an average more than 2.6 crore cases of ARI were reported in India every year. Over 35,000 people died due to the air pollution-linked disease across the country in close to 10 years.
India and China are worst affected countries as compared to the global average of deaths due to air pollution. It is noted pollution is sharply increasing in developing countries leading to various serious health problem, according to an assessment by the World Health Organization.
A total of 8 million deaths, mostly in developing countries, are associated with exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution. Exposure to air pollution is a leading risk factor for non-communicable diseases, in particular: ischemia, myocardial infarction (coronary thrombosis), stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cancers.