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20% increase in respiratory-related queries amidst growing air pollution

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on November 20, 2020 Published on November 20, 2020

File Photo: Smog in Delhi   -  The Hindu

Practo, an integrated healthcare company, witnessed a growth in respiratory-related queries from cities

As the air quality in a few cities deteriorated to the severe-plus mark last week, Practo, an India-based integrated healthcare company, witnessed a growth of 20 per cent in respiratory-related queries in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata.

The report by Practo revealed that most of the queries revolved around breathing issues, dust allergy, asthma, respiratory problems, dry cough, among others. A large number of queries came in from people in the 21-30 age group bracket followed by people aged 60 and above.

The health insights considered queries reported between October - November 2020. The insights noted that 79 per cent of all respiratory-related health queries came from men.

Age profile

Of the total, 34 per cent were from the age group of 21-30, followed by those aged 60 years and above (28 per cent), 31-40 years (25 per cent), 41-50 years (5 per cent), and 51-60 year (2 per cent).

Top searches included breathing problems, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and dust allergy treatments.

Also read: Air quality in Delhi-NCR on brink of ‘emergency’

In the metros, most of the queries were from Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, and Pune while non-metro cities were Visakhapatnam, Lucknow, Jaipur, Bhubaneshwar, Kanpur, and Indore.

Health concern

Rajesh Bhardwaj, an ENT specialist with 37 years of experience, who consults on Practo said in a statement: “Dip in the overall air quality index has been a cause of concern for a few years now...Poor quality air is a great threat to us as it directly impacts our health, especially among the vulnerable category of people like elders, children, and pregnant women.”

Also read: Now’s the time to focus on air quality

He added: “Allergy, respiratory problems, cardiac problems are all triggered by pollution and become fatal. Hence, it is important to consult doctors even if there is a slight feeling of discomfort during this time. Telemedicine is a great way of seeking medical help without exposing oneself to pollution.”

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Published on November 20, 2020
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