Noncommunicable diseases cause the highest number of deaths across the world, WHO report says

The World Health Organization published a report which states that non-communicable diseases cause one death every two seconds in people below the age of 70. According to this report, the percentage of deaths caused due to non-communicable diseases is higher in low- and middle-income countries or LMICs. The WHO released this study during the UN general assembly, which was held in New York. Non-communicable diseases are lifestyle-based diseases that can be avoided easily by practicing a healthy lifestyle that focuses on exercise, healthy food, and proper sleep. But due to a lack of proper diet, physical activity, and stressful life, many people develop these conditions over their lifespan. The most common noncommunicable diseases include cardiovascular diseases, various types of cancers, respiratory diseases, and diabetes. Cardiovascular diseases cause the highest number of deaths out of all the diseases, be it communicable diseases or non-communicable diseases. It is the largest contributor to the deaths caused by non-communicable diseases. Non-communicable diseases cause around 41 million deaths across the world every year. Out of these, around 18 million people die due to cardiovascular diseases. The leading cause of cardiovascular diseases is an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise. Unhealthy food containing unhealthy fats and high sugar levels is harmful to the heart, leading to blockage in the circulation system. Lack of exercise increases the risk of being overweight and obese. Obesity is one of the leading reasons behind cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer. Obesity causes insomnia due to sleep apnea, causes accumulation of fats in blood vessels, and results in hormonal imbalance leading to diabetes. Alcohol and tobacco are other significant reasons behind non-communicable diseases. Excessive consumption of alcohol causes liver disease, pancreatitis, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, etc. Consumption of chewable tobacco leads to mouth and throat cancers. Smoking tobacco is a primary reason behind chronic respiratory diseases such as COPD and asthma. Low- and middle-income countries have the highest death count due to non-communicable diseases. As per the WHO’s report, around 86% of total deaths in such countries occur due to non-communicable diseases. Low and middle-income countries have the highest number of people consuming chewable tobacco and smoking. People of any age can produce a non-communicable disease due to any of the major reasons. Low and middle-income countries have the highest mortality rates due to a lack of developed healthcare infrastructure, lack of health awareness, excessive workload in cities, lack of regulations related to work culture, and over-exposure to addictive substances such as tobacco and alcohol. WHO has stated that the rapid increase in the number of people living with non-communicable diseases is mainly attributed to the rapid industrialization and urbanization in low and middle-income countries. Many LMICs follow an alternate shift work model, which completely disrupts the sleep cycle of a person. This results in a constant state of fatigue, making a person unable to have any form of physical activity. Such a state also increases the reliance on addictions such as alcohol and tobacco, further worsening the health of a person. WHO said that, although the number is in front of us, we chose to ignore the seriousness of non-communicable diseases. Instead of focusing on the cure, we should focus on their prevention as it is much easier.