Health issues are one of the most concerning issues in Malaysia, owing primarily to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). According to the World Health Organization, NCDs kill 41 million people each year, accounting for 71% of all deaths worldwide.
But first, what exactly is a non-communicable disease?
Non-communicable diseases, which are also known as chronic diseases, are long-term illnesses caused by a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental, and behavioural factors. Non-communicable diseases affect people of all ages and countries. There are over 50 examples of NCDs, but the most common NCDs are heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease. These diseases are responsible for nearly 70% of all deaths worldwide.
NCDs are mainly caused by unhealthy diets, the excessive use of alcohol and tobacco, smoking and second-hand smoke, as well as the lack of physical activities. Healthy living can prevent diseases. This is due to the fact that each of these chronic diseases has common conditions or risk factors that are associated with your daily choices and personal health habits. For example, an unhealthy diet can result in obesity, which may be a risk factor for certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. Also, smoking may be a major reason behind lung cancer which additionally putting you at high risk for heart condition and certain cancers.
To fight NCDs, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to reduce your risk of these diseases.
Some healthy lifestyle include:
1. Regular exercise
Exercising keeps your body healthy and improves your brain and muscle strength by delivering oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and assisting your cardiovascular system in working more efficiently.
2. Stop smoking
Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer and a significant risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Second-hand smoke has an impact on those around the smoker. Quitting smoking can reduce risks and save lives of many.
3. Eating healthy food
A healthy and balanced diet is important in reducing the risk of NCDs. Too much sugar causes diabetes, and too much salt causes hypertension. It is important to consume food in moderation and to ensure adequate nutrition in the diet.
4. Limiting your alcohol consumption
Consuming excessive amount of alcohol can cause a variety of cancers as it causes cell damage in the body. Drinking in moderation is the best option.
5. Conducting regular health screening
Getting annual medical check-ups is important to be aware of your health risks because prevention is better than cure.
“Understanding health risks is key to making your own health care decisions” - Dr. William Elwood
Dr Elwood, a psychologist and behavioural scientist at National Institutes of Health mentioned that understanding health risk gives the perspective on potential harms and benefits, so that you can make smart choices based on facts and not fears.
Health risks are often puzzling, but they are important to know. Knowing the risks that you might encounter them can aid you in avoiding health problems. A health risk is the possibility or likelihood that something will harm or negatively impact your health. Risk does not imply that something bad will undoubtedly occur. It is only a possibility. Several factors, referred to as risk factors influence whether your health risks are high or low.
Making a lifestyle change is not easy. It takes time to create new habits. You can learn to make healthier choices and lower your risk of chronic diseases by understanding the stages of change, starting small, and setting goals. To learn more on your genetic health risks, check out our Decode Health DNA Test and begin your lifestyle change now!
Cirino, E. (2018, June 14). Noncommunicable diseases list: 50 noninfectious diseases. Healthline. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/non-communicable-diseases-list
Tamese, M. (2019, May 17). October 2016 issue of NIH News in health now available!: Newsbits. NewsBits | News for the NNLM Pacific Southwest Region. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from https://news.nnlm.gov/psr-newsbits/october-2016-issue-of-nih-news-in-health-now-available/
Wein, H. (2017, September 8). Understanding health risks. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2016/10/understanding-health-risks
World Health Organization. (2021, April 13). Non communicable diseases. World Health Organization. Retrieved July 20, 2022, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/noncommunicable-diseases
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