India’s Heart Health: Where Do We Stand Among the BRICS Nations


Between 1992 and 2016, the cardiovascular disease (CVD) age-standardized mortality rate in BRICS decreased by 16.9%. While the age-standardized mortality rate (ASMR) for CVD has decreased in most countries, there have been continuing high rates across the BRICS, in part a result of the persistence of major cardiovascular risks. The relative proportion of all-cause deaths resulting from CVD in BRICS increased from 24.7% to 35.1%, with notable increases in China (27.9% to 41.9%) and India (15.7% to 25.1%). There are striking differences in cardiovascular disease mortality across Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

Poor access to treatment may contribute to a lack of improvement in mortality rate over time, with at least one-half of Indian CVD deaths occurring due to medication non-adherence among those with pre-existing heart disease. Further risks relate to poor diet, including a high consumption of sodium, trans fatty acids, and sugar-sweetened beverages; an increasing prevalence of hypertension; poor lipid profiles; and an increasing prevalence of high fasting plasma glucose countrywide.

Although there have been reductions in cardiovascular mortality across the BRICS, they have been varied and overall lagged behind that in North America by >50%.