A report has said that India appears to be lagging behind many of its South Asian neighbours as well as China on key parameters of health.
Indians are living longer lives, but illness and disability of a very high order and relatively early death remain severe health care challenges.
Life expectancy at birth in India was 58.3 in 1990; it went up to 65.2 in 2010.
All of these countries remained ahead of India in 2010. Life expectancy at birth in 2010 was 65.7 years for Pakistan, 69.0 for Bangladesh, 69.2 for Nepal, 69.4 for Bhutan, 75.5 for Sri Lanka, and 75.7 for China.
In terms of age-standardised death rate, per 100,000 population, India ranked 155 out of 187 countries in 1990. Bangladesh (at 143), Nepal (at 142), Bhutan (at 141), Pakistan (at 123), China (at 92), and Sri Lanka (at 45), were all ahead of it.
According to the report, much of the illness and death in India is caused by a short list of ailments.
GBD researchers examined over 300 diseases, injuries, and risk factors and found that a limited number of distinct causes account for the bulk of the Indian health burden, measured as the number of years lost to disability and premature death, the report said.
The top cause of death in India, as measured in 2010, was ischaemic heart disease, followed by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, diarrhoeal diseases lower respiratory infections, tuberculosis, preterm birth complications, self-harm, road injury, and diabetes, it added.
These are some of the findings from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors 2010 Study (GBD 2010), a collaborative project led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.