More people died in the country due to Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) in 2016 as compared to 2015 and 2014, with the national capital ranking third following Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, said a report here.
According to the excerpts of the National Health Profile report, shared by senior government officials, India recorded an increase in the cases of ARI over the years, with total 3, 043 cases of deaths as compared to 2, 893 in 2015 and 2, 729 in 2014.
According to the report, published by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence, as of 2013, 12, 178 people have died due to ARI.
With total 822 deaths in 2016, Uttar Pradesh tops the list followed by West Bengal with 635 deaths and Delhi with 207 deaths.
In the national capital, total 351, 072 cases of ARI were reported in 2016, against 330, 643 cases in 2015.
Assam with 200 and Madhya Pradesh with 185 stood at fourth and fifth places in number of deaths due to ARI in 2016, report stated.
The number of cases reported also increased with over 4. 03 crore cases in 2016, against 3. 7 crore in 2015 and 3. 4 crore in 2014.
Though not directly connected to air pollution, experts stated that cases of ARI are high in areas with more particle pollution, especially PM10 or particles with diameter less than 10 micrometers.
"Air pollution is a risk factor here, especially with the children below five years, " Vivek Chattopadhyay, a researcher with the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), told IANS.
Recently, a CSE report established that air pollution is responsible for 30 per cent of premature deaths in India while every third child in Delhi has impaired lungs.
Air pollution killed an estimated 18 lakh people in India in 2015, according to the scientific journal, The Lancet.