While prevention of all types of illnesses is important, prevention of non-communicable diseases is becoming an increasingly hot topic. Check out our heart-to-heart on non-communicable diseases for a quick review of what you need to know.
What is a non-communicable disease?
A non-communicable disease (NCD) is not passed from person to person, but is developed slowly over time and is closely linked with your lifestyle. This means making healthy choices each day will help you avoid an NCD in the long run. Cardiovascular diseases (like heart attack and stroke), cancer, chronic respiratory diseases (like asthma) and diabetes are examples of NCDs that might ring a bell.
Why are they important?
NCDs have a huge impact on the death toll around the world. They currently kill 38 million people worldwide each year; that’s more than the number of people in Canada! Non-communicable diseases are becoming more deadly than communicable diseases, or ones that are passed from person to person, like hepatitis or HIV. By 2030, NCDs will make up 75% of all deaths, while, thanks to vaccination efforts and advances in public health, communicable diseases will decline significantly.
What are the risk factors?
According to the World Health Organization, unhealthy diets, tobacco use or exposure, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol consumption can lead to raised blood pressure, increased blood glucose and lipids and obesity which are all “intermediate risk factors” and can contribute to NCDs.
Why is prevention important?
The NHS highlights NCD prevention for its ability to prolong life and improve the quality of those years. This includes eating well, exercising regularly, drinking enough water and taking care of your mental health. Keeping an eye on your blood pressure and cholestorol can catch any warning signs of an NCD too.
Check out the small steps you can take each day to keep your body healthy, happy and NCD-free!