Noncommunicable Diseases are a category of chronic illnesses that are not contagious, meaning they cannot be passed from one person to another. They are diseases that last a long time and develop slowly, and they are the leading cause of adult death and morbidity throughout the globe. Malignant neoplasms, diabetes mellitus, endocrine disorders, neuropsychiatric conditions, sense organ diseases, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, digestive diseases, genitourinary diseases, skin diseases, and musculoskeletal diseases are classified as Noncommunicable Diseases by the World Health Organization (WHO). The increase in noncommunicable illnesses is mainly due to five key risk factors: tobacco use, physical inactivity, harmful alcohol consumption, poor diets, and betel nut chewing. Focusing on decreasing the risk factors linked with Noncommunicable Diseases is an integral approach to managing these illnesses.
Risk factors for noncommunicable diseases
Certain Noncommunicable Diseases are known to be made more likely by risk factors such as a person’s history, lifestyle, and environment. Noncommunicable disease risk factors may be divided into two categories, as shown below:
i. Non-modifiable Risk Factors
Age, sex, and genetic make-up are examples of non-modifiable risk factors that a person or the environment cannot alter. They cannot be the primary focus of treatments, but they are still significant variables since they influence and partially determine the effectiveness of many preventive and treatment strategies.
ii. Modifiable Risk Factors
Modifiable Risk Factors are features that people or society may alter to enhance health outcomes. Poor nutrition, physical inactivity, cigarette use, and hazardous alcohol consumption are the four main modified risk factors.
Risk factors of noncommunicable diseases
Five main factors cause noncommunicable Diseases. It is critical to comprehend them to take preventative measures, alter your life’s path, and live a healthy lifestyle.
i. Tobacco use
Tobacco smoke consists of Nicotine, Carbon Monoxide, Tar, and many other dangerous chemicals and poison, which can lead to vomiting and depression of the central nervous system.
ii. Physical inactivity
Physical inactivity causes a decrease in muscle mass. It makes it difficult to do daily living activities. People with insufficient physical activity are likely to gain weight and accumulate cholesterol which blocks blood flow.
iii. Use of alcohol
Alcohol is broken down mainly in the liver after drinking and may cause fatty liver, hepatitis, and liver cancer.
iv. Betel nut chewing
Betel nut chewing causes oral cancer, gum irritation, and tooth loss. Chewing betel nut with lime during pregnancy is very harmful to babies and can cause lifelong health problems.
v. Unhealthy diet
An unhealthy diet high in fat, sugar, and salt can lead to many cardiovascular diseases. It is responsible for many non-communicable diseases, resulting in premature mortality across the world.
Efforts to Combat noncommunicable diseases
The United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have adopted the slogan “25 by 25” to aim for a 25% reduction in NCD mortality by 2025. The Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases 2013-2020 provides a roadmap and policy options for all Member States and other stakeholders to take coordinated and coherent action at all levels, from local to global, to achieve the nine voluntary global targets, including a 25% relative reduction in premature mortality from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and blood transfusions. The four major Noncommunicable Diseases, “Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, Chronic Respiratory Disease, and Diabetes,” emphasize this action plan. This action plan highlights the four common behavioral risk factors, “Tobacco Use, Unhealthy Diet, Physical Inactivity, and Harmful Use of Alcohol.”
Chronic illnesses, often known as noncommunicable diseases, are medical disorders that last long and develop slowly. The majority of Noncommunicable Diseases are non-infectious and are caused by genetic, physiological, behavioral, and environmental factors. According to the World Health Organization, noncommunicable illnesses are the main cause of mortality globally, accounting for 71 percent of all fatalities each year. Cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and diabetes are the top four noncommunicable diseases that cause the most fatalities. Unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, tobacco use, and alcohol abuse are the major risk factors for noncommunicable illnesses. NCD management requires various methods from many viewpoints and at multiple levels, including individual and national levels. Now solid plans and strategies are given and implemented by WHO and many other supportive organizations to control non-communicable diseases.