Prevention of Non Communicable Diseases

Health Hygiene & Sanitation

Lesson 09 : Concept Of Control And Prevention Of Diseases

Prevention of Non Communicable Diseases

Non-communicable diseases or NCD, is a medical condition or disease which is non infectious. NCDs are diseases of long duration and generally slow progression. If a disease has duration of at least 3 months, it is termed as long term disease. NCD include cardiovascular, renal, nervous and mental diseases, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, obesity, cancer etc. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports NCDs to be by far the leading cause of mortality in the world, representing over 60% of all deaths. In developed countries CVD and cancer are reported to be the leading cause of mortality accounting for 70-75 % deaths.

Risk factors: Person's background, lifestyle and environment are known to increase the likelihood of certain non-communicable diseases. Age, sex and genetics are the non modifiable risk factors while, air and water pollution, behaviours such as smoking, alcoholism, unhealthy diet, stress and physical inactivity are the modifiable risk factors. Most NCDs are considered preventable as many are caused by modifiable risk factors. Other factors associated with higher risk of NCDs include a person's economic and social conditions. Raised blood pressure, hypercholesterol, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and overweight are recorded to be risk factors according to WHO.

Prevention: Chronic diseases can be prevented by a complex mix of interventions, as the diseases are multifactorial in causation. Prevention is possible by primary means, like elimination or reduction of risk factors, modification of life style patterns. It has been estimated that if the primary risk factors are eliminated, 80% of the cases of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes and 40% of cancers could be prevented. Interventions targeting the main risk factors could have a significant impact on reducing the burden of disease worldwide. Efforts focused on better diet and increased physical activity have been shown to control the prevalence of NCDs. Altering fatty acid composition of diet, restricting the intake of fat calories to less than 30 per cent of total may lower the risk of CHD. Regular exercise, habitual diet with complex carbohydrates having good amounts of neutraceuticals and practicing healthy life style can help in preventing NCDs.

Last modified: Monday, 23 April 2012, 9:31 AM