Prevalence of non-communicable diseases among the rural population in Maharashtra: a descriptive study

Pothiraj Pitchai, Anulucia Augustine, Hiloni R. Badani, Namrataa H. Anarthe, Aiyshwarya Avasare


Background: Prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is alarmingly increasing along with a rise in population especially in rural India. The objectives of this study are to find out prevalence as well as awareness of NCDs among the rural populations.

Methods: This community-based cross-sectional study was conducted in six rural area of Panvel Taluka. One –stage cluster sampling technique was used to recruit participants from each cluster. WHO STEPS questionnaire tool (STEP I and II) was used to measure NCDs risk factors. Face validated pre-designed questionnaire was used to assess participant’s awareness, attitude, and behavior towards NCDs. The target population was classified into different age groups and gender. Data were analyzed using SPSS Software and a descriptive statistics were applied.

Results: A total of 483 males and 417 females participated in this study. Among males, 34.8% consumed smoked tobacco whereas 21.8% of females consumed smokeless tobacco. Only 9.32% of male participants were reported as current alcohol drinkers. Both the genders did not meet the recommended amount of fruit consumption. Insufficient physical activity amongst males was 45.21% and females 60.49%. Based on BMI categories 19.04% males were overweight and 27.12% obese and in females 23.02% and 21.34% respectively. Risk of high waist circumference and diabetes was demonstrated more by males whereas females subjected to raised blood pressure. Awareness of NCDs among total subjects found as low as 28%.

Conclusions: Awareness about NCDs is alarmingly low among the rural population thus corresponding to an increased prevalence of risk factors.


Non-communicable diseases, Prevalence, Awareness, Risk factors, Rural health, India

Full Text:




India’s Speedy–And Ominous–Disease Transition, June 2015. Available from: [Accessed on 6th January 2017].

Shah B, Mathur P. Multi-centric study on risk factors for Non Communicable diseases in India. Final Report. NICD-ICMR. 2005.

Murthy NS, BS Nandakumar, Pruthvish S, George PS , Mathew A. Disability Adjusted Life Years for Cancer Patients in India. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention. 2010; 11:633-640

70% Indians live in rural areas: Census. Available from: [ Accessed on 23rd December 2016]

Non communicable diseases. Available from: [Accessed on 18th December 2016]

World Health Organization. Non-communicable Diseases mortality and morbidity, 2015. Available from: [Accessed on 4th January 2017]

World Health Organization. Global Status report on Non-communicable Diseases, 2014. Available from : publications/ncd-status-report-2014/en/ [Accessed on 4th January 2017]

Allen LN, Pullar J, Wickramasinghe KK, Williams J, Roberts N, Mikkelsen B, et al. Evaluation of research on interventions aligned to WHO ‘Best Buys’ for NCDs in low-income and lower middle-income countries: a systematic review from 1990 to 2015. BMJ Glob Health 2018; 3: e000535.

World Health Organization. WHO STEPwise approach to surveillance. Available from: [Accessed on 10th December 2016]

Thippeswamy T and Chikkegowda P. Basic Risk Factors Awareness in Non-Communicable Diseases (BRAND) Study Among People Visiting Tertiary Care Centre in Mysuru, Karnataka. J Clin Diagn Res. 2016; 10(4): OC04–OC07.

World Health Organization. STEPS manual: Using STEP manual. Geneva: WHO; 2005. Available from: [Accessed on 10th February 2017]

World Health Organization. The Asia-Pacific perspective: redefining obesity and its treatment. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2000. Available from: [Accessed on 4th December 2016]

Chobanian AV, Bakris GL, Black HR, Cushman WC, Green LA, Izzo JL, et al. Seventh report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. Hypertension 2003; 42(6):1206-52.

Bhagyalaxmi A, Atul T, Shikha J. Prevalence of Risk Factors of Non-communicable Diseases in a District of Gujarat, India. Journal of Health Population and Nutrtiona1. 2013; 31(1): 78–85.

Ray CS, Gupta P and Beyer J. Economics of Tobacco Control paper no 9. Research on tobacco in India (including betel quid and areca nut) an annotated bibliography of research on use, health effects, economics, and control efforts of tobacco.2003: 25.

Bhardwaj SD, Shewte MK, Bhatkule PR, Khadse JR. Prevalence of risk factors for NCDs in a rural area of Nagpur District, Maharashtra: A WHO STEP wise approach. International Journal of Biological and Medical Research .2012 ;3(1) :1413-1418

Gavarasana S, Gorty PV, Allam A. Illiteracy, ignorance, and willingness to quit smoking among villagers in India. Jpn J Cancer Res.1992; 83(4):340-3.

Mishra GA, Pimple SA, and Shastri SS. An overview of the tobacco problem in India. Indian J Med Paediatric Oncol. 2012; 33(3): 139–145

Kaur J, Jain DC. Tobacco Control Policies in India: Implementation and Challenges. Indian J Public Health.2011;55:220-7.

Dutta R, Sivaranjini S, Subitha S, D’cruze L. A Population Based Study on Alcoholism in Adult Males in a Rural Area in Tamil Nadu: Journal Of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 2014: 8(6):OC0-OC03

Goswami A, Kapoor SK, Singh B, Dwivedi SN. Tobacco and Alcohol use in rural elderly population. Indian Journal of Psychiatry. 2005;47(4) : 192-197

Tripathy JP, Thakur JS, Jeet G, Chawla S, Jain S and Prasad R. Urban rural differences in diet, physical activity and obesity in India: are we witnessing the great Indian equalisation? Results from a cross-sectional STEPS survey. BMC Public Health. 2016; 16:816

Thankappan KR, Shah B, Mathur P, Sarma PS, Srinivas G, Mini GK, Daivadanam M, Soman B and Vasan RS. Risk factor profile for chronic non-communicable diseases: Results of a community-based study in Kerala, India. Indian J Med Res.2010; 53-63

Diet and Nutritional Status of Rural Population. National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau.2002. Available from: [Accessed on July 2017]

Booth FW, Roberts CK, Laye MJ. Lack of exercise is a major cause of chronic diseases. Comprehensive Physiology. 2012;2(2):1143-1211.

Dean E, Al-Obaidi S, De Andrade AD, Gosselink R, Umerah G, Al-Abdelwahab S, et al. The First Physical Therapy Summit on Global Health: implications and recommendations for the 21st century. Physiotherapy Theory Pract 2011; 27(8):531-47.

World Confederation of Physical Therapy. Draft policy statement: non-communicable diseases. 2014. Available from: [Accessed on August 2017]

Ketkar AR, Veluswamy SK , Prabhu N, Maiya AG. Screening for non-communicable disease risk factors at a workplace in India: A physiotherapy initiative in a healthcare setting. Hong Kong Physiotherapy Journal.2015;33-39

Bury.T, Moffat.M. Non-communicable diseases. Physiotherapy 2014.100;94–96

Frantz JM. Physiotherapy in the management of non-communicable diseases: facing the challenge. SA journal of physiotherapy. 2005.61(2); 8-10.