Apart from economic advancements and the ability to trade worldwide, the world has come a long way in science, and more specifically medicine. Economic development has led to a high rate of lifestyle changes. With these changes comes a crop of diseases. These diseases have been dubbed “lifestyle diseases” or “diseases of civilization” and “diseases of longevity”. Most people don’t even know they are creating platforms for the growth of these diseases through their day to day activities. This article will discuss the causes of lifestyle diseases and how they affect people.
List of Lifestyle Diseases
Some of the most common lifestyle diseases include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Some types of cancer
- Liver cirrhosis
- Type 2 diabetes
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Heart disease
- Metabolic syndrome
- Chronic renal failure
Causes of Lifestyle Diseases
Diet and lifestyle are the most common causes of these lifestyle diseases. Tobacco smoking, drug abuse and alcohol intake as well as a lack of exercising can increase the risk of acquiring certain diseases. This is especially common in the elderly.
In western nations, people consume a lot of meat, vegetable oils, dairy products, alcoholic beverages and sugary foods. People have also adopted sedentary lifestyles and thus increasing the prevalence of obesity. These dietary changes have led to an increase in medical cases such as colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer and endometrial cancer. People living in developing countries consume foods that are low in sugar and high in starch with little quantities of meat. As a result, the cancer rates are lower in these nations.
So if you want to stay away from lifestyle diseases, it is a must to keep a healthy lifestyle, maintain a healthy diet regime and exercise often. To establish a healthy lifestyle, watch the following videos for advices:
Death Statistics of Lifestyle Diseases in the U.S.
In the year 1900, influenza/pneumonia, diarrhea/enteritis and tuberculosis were the leading causes of death in the United States. Communicable diseases were the leading cause of death, accounting for more than 60% of all deaths. In this year, cancer and heart disease were ranked eighth and fourth respectively. By late 1990s, these degenerative diseases were the cause of more than 60% of all deaths. This situation calls for alarm as lifestyle diseases are claiming more and more deaths.
It is important to take note of the fact that lifestyle diseases are only common in the late stages of life. These lifestyle diseases require a longer lifespan to cause death. This means that the life expectancy of approximately 49 years in the 1900 was too short for the degenerative diseases to take place compared to the approximately 77 years life expectancy of 2004.