International Journal of Collaborative Research on Internal Medicine & Public Health

ISSN - 1840-4529

Lifestyle Disorders

Lifestyle disease: A disease associated with the way a person or group of people lives. Lifestyle diseases include atherosclerosis, heart disease, and stroke; obesity and type 2 diabetes; and diseases associated with smoking and alcohol and drug abuse. Regular physical activity helps prevent obesity, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, colon cancer, and premature mortality. Lifestyle diseases are defined as diseases linked with the way people live their life. These are non-communicable diseases. This is commonly caused by lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating, alcohol, drugs and smoking. Diseases that mostly have an effect on our lifestyle are heart disease, stroke, obesity and type II diabetes. The diseases that appear to increase in frequency as countries become more industrialized and people live longer can include Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, atherosclerosis, asthma, cancer, chronic liver disease or cirrhosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, chronic kidney failure, osteoporosis, PCOD, stroke, depression, obesity and vascular dementia. Some commenters maintain a distinction between diseases of longevity and diseases of civilization or diseases of affluence. Certain diseases, such as diabetes, dental caries and asthma, appear at greater rates in young populations living in the "western" way; their increased incidence is not related to age, so the terms cannot accurately be used interchangeably for all diseases. Non communicable diseases (NCDs) kill around 40 million people each year, that is around 70% of all deaths globally.1 NCDs are chronic in nature and cannot be communicated from one person to another. They are a result of a combination of factors including genetics, physiology, environment and behaviours. The main types of NCDs are cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases in addition to cancer. NCDs such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD), stroke, diabetes and certain forms of cancer are heavily linked to lifestyle choices, and hence, are often known as lifestyle diseases.  Cardiovascular diseases that include heart attacks and stroke account for 17.7 million deaths every year, making it the most lethal disease globally. Cancer kills around 8.8 million people each year, followed by respiratory diseases that claim around 3.9 million lives annually and diabetes that has an annual morbidity rate of 1.6 million. These four groups of diseases are the most common causes of death among all NCDs.2 Figure 1 depicts the top 10 causes of death globally. NCDs are caused, to a massive extent, by four behavioural risk factors: tobacco use, unhealthy diet, insufficient physical activity and harmful use of alcohol.3 According to WHO, low- and middle-income countries and the poorer people in all countries are the worst affected by deaths due to NCDs. It is a vicious cycle of risk where the poor are increasingly exposed to behavioural risk factors for NCDs and, in turn, such diseases may play a significant role in driving people and their families towards poverty. It starts from an individual and eventually affects entire countries. A country like India, for example, was slated for an economic loss of more than $236 million in 2015, on account of unhealthy lifestyles and faulty diet.4 That is why in order to tackle the global impact of NCDs, it has to be aggressively confronted in the most affected areas and communities.

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