Lifestyle diseases, also known as non-communicable diseases (NCDs), are those diseases whose occurrence is primarily based on the daily habits of people.
The main kinds of NCDs are cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes.
Most NCDs share common lifestyle-related risk factors like physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, tobacco use, and harmful use of alcohol.
However, NCDs are largely preventable.
Here’s more on them.
NCDs kill more than 36 million people each year
According to the WHO, NCDs are responsible for 63% of all global deaths annually. They kill more than 36mn people each year.
Some 80% of all NCD deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
More than 9mn of all deaths attributed to NCDs occur before the age of 60.
NCDs affect women and men almost equally.
Let’s discuss in detail the types of NCDs.
Cardiovascular diseases: They affect heart and blood vessels
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the types of diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels, including coronary heart disease (clogged arteries), which can cause heart attacks, stroke, congenital heart disease, and peripheral artery disease.
Every year, 17.7 million people die from CVDs, an estimated 31% of all deaths worldwide.
Tobacco use, unhealthy diet, alcohol, and physical inactivity trigger CVDs.
Diabetes: It occurs when pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.
There are four kinds of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, Gestational, and Pre-Diabetes.
Globally, Type 2 diabetes is the most common diabetes and is largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity.
In 2015, around 1.6mn deaths were directly caused by diabetes.
Cancer: The second leading cause of death worldwide
Cancer is a disease characterized by the growth of abnormal cells beyond their usual boundaries that can invade other parts of the body too.
Cancer is caused by gene mutations. Factors causing mutations are smoking, radiation, obesity, and hormones, among others.
It is estimated to account for 9.6mn deaths in 2018.
Common types of cancer include cervical cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, among others.
Chronic respiratory diseases are caused by cigarette smoking, air pollution
The term chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs) describes a range of diseases of the airways and other structures of the lungs.
The two main types of CRDs are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.
Over 3mn people die each year from COPDs, an estimated 6% of all deaths worldwide while 235mn people have asthma.
Cigarette smoking, tobacco chewing, pollution, and infections can cause CRDs.