Non-communicable diseases

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Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are chronic diseases that result from multiple factors such as genetic, physiological, environmental, and behavioral factors. NCDs are of long duration and affect people irrespective of their gender, age, race, or geographic location. The majority of the diseases in this group include cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes, obesity, chronic respiratory diseases, musculoskeletal diseases, and mental disorders. This group of diseases has become epidemic with drastically increasing mortality especially in low-to-middle income countries where the health burden from this group of diseases has doubled that of infectious diseases. It is the leading cause of death globally accounting for over 70% of deaths worldwide and more than three-quarters of death in low and middle-income countries. NCDs, although defined as diseases that can not be transferred from person to person, there are some risk factors of diseases in this group caused by infection which include cancer of the stomach, liver, and cervix. Therefore, this definition of non-communicable disease should be reviewed. Furthermore, non-communicable diseases though caused by multiple factors, the WHO have recognised four main behavioural factors that increase the risk mortality from diseases in the group. These behavioural factors include physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, tobacco use and alcohol misuse. These behavioural factors in various researches have been found to have a significant effect on the reduction of noncommunicable diseases when prevented globally. In conclusion, non-communicable diseases are silent killers that have claimed the lives of people prematurely. This group of diseases have greatly increased health burden globally therefore more research and awareness on the prevention of this epidemic group of diseases should be advocated for and prioritised globally especially in developing countries where the mortality is high.

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