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Modern Life, Lifestyle & Ailments

Modern science through improved sanitation, vaccination, and antibiotics, and medical attention has eliminated the threat of death from most infectious diseases. This means that death from lifestyle diseases like heart disease and cancer are now the primary causes of death. Everybody naturally has to die of something, but lifestyle diseases take people before their time. Too many people are dying relatively young from Heart Disease and Cancer and other lifestyle diseases in modern times.

In India the situation is quite alarming. The disease profile is changing rapidly. The World health Organization (WHO) has identified India as one of the nations that is going to have most of the lifestyle disorders in the near future. Nowadays, not only are lifestyle disorders becoming more common, but they are also affecting younger population. Hence, the population at risk shifts from 40+ to maybe 30+ or even younger. Already considered the diabetes capital of the world, India now appears headed towards gaining another dubious distinction — of becoming the lifestyle-related disease capital as well. A study conducted jointly by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Max Hospital shows the incidence of hypertension, obesity and heart disease is increasing at an alarming rate, especially in the young, urban population. According to doctors say, a sedentary lifestyle combined with an increase in the consumption of fatty food and alcohol is to blame cases of obesity, diabetes, hypertension etc.

Lifestyle Disorders in India causing death

Heart Risk
  • India No.1 in cardiac patients: 10% population affected, US/Europe No. 2: 7% each; China: 4%.
  • Heart Diseases to be single greatest 'killer' in India by 2015 (WHO).
  • 50 million people in India suffer from heart problems. Number expected to double by 2010.
  • Highest growth among young executives: 1 of 8 is under 40 years.
  • Heart attacks among executives at 10 years ahead of global average age: Prevention needs to start in early 20s.
  • Prevalence of CAD up from 17.5% to 35% among corporate executives in past decade: two-fold rise
  • Heart attacks kill one in every 10 Indians
Obesity/ Diabetes
  • 31 percent of urban Indians are either overweight or obese
  • Obesity can, in fact, triple the risk of heart disease
  • India has one of the highest numbers of diabetic patients in the world, as many as 30 million, and growing by the day
Stress/ Hypertension/Lipids
  • Hypertension & Stress, especially from work, account for more than 50% of heart ailments
  • 100 million people in India have high blood pressure
  • Two out of three employees in India are victim of stress
  • Over 40% of urban Indians have high lipid levels (cholesterol and triglycerides) that are the major risk factors for heart disease

Dictionary meaning of Lifestyle disease

A disease associated with the way a person or group of people lives. Lifestyle diseases are diseases that appear to become ever more widespread as countries become more industrialized. These are different from other diseases because they are potentially preventable, and can be lowered with changes in diet, lifestyle, and environment. These include hypertension , heart disease, stroke, obesity ,diabetes, diseases associated with smoking and alcohol and drug abuse, tobacco- and nutrition-induced cancers, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and premature mortality.

Lifestyle Medicine is nothing but the use of lifestyle interventions in the treatment and management of lifestyle diseases. Such interventions include diet rectifications (good nutrition), exercise, stress management, smoking cessation, and a variety of other non-drug modalities. A growing body of scientific evidence has demonstrated that lifestyle intervention is an essential component in the treatment of chronic disease that can be effective when used appropriately with medication.

The emphasis of lifestyle medicine is on:

  • Assessing lifestyle
  • Evaluating the risk factors
  • Evaluating laboratory reports
  • Discussing the opportunities for interventions
  • Prescribing an optimal lifestyle
  • Tracking and follow-ups

Other than lifestyle interventions in various forms, the healthy lifestyle habits that each member of the society should practice are:

  • A strict No to
    • Smoking
    • Alcohol
    • Illegal Drugs
    • Hypertension
    • Stress
  • Eat Low Fat, Low Salt, High Fibber Diet
  • Do Physical Activity etc.

Lifestyle diseases are our own creation. Most men are unable to resist the temptation of cocktail partying, obsession with shopping, workaholic, sedentary living environment, , blind pleasure psychosis, suffocating dispositions, exchanging conscience and faith with wealth, consumption-based happiness indices, absence of regular sleep, leisure, socialising, taking metric kilos of junk food, and finally the mad march against indomitable time. The only remedy lies in the fact that, man needs to control his senses, freshen up his common sense to make life more convenient in the long run.

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