News / Health

Lifestyle Factors at Root of Non-Communicable Disease Crisis

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan makes a point during her address to the 64th World Health Assembly at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, May 16, 2011
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan makes a point during her address to the 64th World Health Assembly at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, May 16, 2011
Lisa Schlein

The World Health Organization says lifestyle factors are at the root of the non-communicable disease crisis, which is responsible for millions of premature deaths every year. WHO is calling for global action to combat this epidemic. 

The World Health Organization breaks a common misperception. It says non-communicable diseases or NCDs do not mainly afflict affluent people. On the contrary, it says 80 percent of all NCDs occur in low and middle-income countries.

WHO Director-General, Margaret Chan, says millions of people are dying prematurely every year from the world’s biggest killers - cancers, heart disease, stroke, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes.  

“If you look at, 63 percent of the total number of deaths worldwide, which is about 36 million is due to NCD [non-communicable diseases]," she said. "And, of that 36 million, nine million of them were people below the age of 60. Nowadays, you do not need to die before the age of 60. According to our culture, your life begins at 60.”  

WHO says non-communicable diseases are preventable. It reports up to 80 percent of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes and more than one-third of cancers could be prevented by eliminating the major risk factors. These include tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and the harmful use of alcohol.  

Minister of Health of Palau, Stevenson Kuartei, says non-communicable diseases are having a devastating affect upon his region. He notes the Western Pacific region is the most diverse in the world. It encompasses 37 countries, which stretch from the world’s biggest country, China across the Pacific to some of the world’s smallest island states.

“Today, in our region, home of nearly 1.8 billion people, NCD are responsible for four out of every five deaths," he said. "In some of our small island states, among the adults, the prevalence of overweight-obesity is 80 percent.

"And, more than half of the population report daily use of tobacco," continued Kuartei. "These NCD’s are affecting people earlier in life, robbing many of their most productive years and creating complex health needs that are expensive to treat.”  

WHO says life-style factors are at the root of the non-communicable disease crisis. It says life-style changes also can be the solution to stemming the epidemic.  

If nothing is done, it warns NCD deaths will increase by 17 percent over the next 10 years. It says the greatest increase will be seen in the African and the eastern Mediterranean regions. It adds the highest absolute number of deaths will occur in the Western Pacific and South-East Asia region.

You May Like

Kurdish Party Pushes Political Gamble to Run in Turkey Poll

HDP announces it will run as political party instead of fielding independent candidates in June election, but faces tough 10 percent threshold More

Twitter Targets Islamic State

New research shows suspending Twitter accounts of Islamic State, its supporters has been effective; group, its backers are facing 'significant pressure,' says terrorism expert More

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

Majur Juac made the leap from being a refugee in Africa to a master chess champion in US, where he shares his expertise with students More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures. For now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid