Cardiovascular health risks in China and India – and the implications for insurance

The relationship between rapid economic growth and cardiovascular health in developing nations is one that warrants close attention. It accordingly forms a key part of an ongoing study Swiss Re is undertaking in partnership with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The study, entitled Systematic Explanatory Analyses of Risk Factors affecting Cardiovascular Health (SEARCH), marked a new milestone with the release of its latest publication focusing on China & India. Findings from the report were shared with senior public officials and insurance industry executives at events in Mumbai on 28 May, and Shanghai in April. These occasions were marked by lively discussions and debates on the unique trends and developments of cardiovascular health risk factors developing markets are faced with.

For India, the findings pointed to a large increase in the numbers of patients suffering from coronary heart disease, which currently stands at 30 million and has increased six-fold in urban areas over the past four decades. This is a worrying sign in a large country that may soon be the world’s fastest growing, and that already records up to 2.7 million general cardiovascular disease-related deaths each year.

For China, we found that cardiovascular disease accounts for 41% of deaths in China, and is causing significant financial distress for patients and their families. This massive disease burden has been fuelled by rapid urbanisation with poor air quality in cities as well as other lifestyle factors such as smoking, physical inactivity and increased consumption of processed food replacing traditional diets.

Get in-touch with our experts to understand the cardiovascular disease trends better. You can also download the China and India reports from the links or download the entire study onto your iPad or tablet at iTunes or at Google Play free of charge.

Panel discussion in Mumbai, India. Speakers (from left to right) including Professor K Srinath Reddy, President of Public Health Foundation of India; Dr Christoph Nabholz, Head of Business Development, Centre for Global Dialogue, Swiss Re; Mr G.Srinivasan, Chairman and Managing Director, New India Assurance Company Ltd; and Mrs Yegnapriya Bharath, Joint Director, Health, IRDAI, shared their views on the vision for assessing and managing cardiovascular disease risk for India.

Panel discussion In Shanghai, China. Speakers from left to right: Cindy Feng, Client Manager, Health Solutions, Swiss Re; Mr. Jin Chunlin, Shanghai Medical Technology Intelligence Institute; Ms. Liu Tao, China Insurance Regulatory Commission; Dr Christoph Nabholz, Head of Business Development, Centre for Global Dialogue, Swiss Re; Dr David Lu, Deputy Regional Chief Medical Officer, Life & Health, Swiss Re)

Published June 2015

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