- by Manipal Hospitals
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- Feb 09 2017
Keeping Tabs On Top 10 Deadliest Diseases
People are endangering themselves with the risk of several deadly diseases which can be either prevented or at least whose progress can be delayed by understanding these diseases. Here are the top 10 deadliest diseases which can be prevented if you are cautious from the beginning.
1) Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) or Ischemic Heart Disease – This is a number one killer disease which can be prevented by taking right precautions. About 13.2% of all the deaths which occurred globally in the year 2012 are due to CAD as per the estimations of WHO (World Health Organization).
CAD occurs due to the narrowing of the blood vessels supplying blood to the heart which leads to the death of the heart tissue eventually.
The risk factors for CAD are high blood pressure, high cholesterol in the blood, and smoking. Therefore, the three crucial elements of preventing CAD are nutritional diet, exercise schedules and quitting tobacco habits. Maintaining a normal blood pressure can significantly decrease your risk of contracting CAD. Like it or not, the key is to maintain a healthy weight. Control your fat intake and increase fiber and protein in your daily diet. Get your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked regularly by your doctor.
2) Stroke – Stroke is the second largest killer with regards to heart diseases. Deaths due to stroke accounted to about 11. 9% of the overall deaths during 2012, as per the records of WHO.
Stroke occurs when the blood vessels in the brain either leak or narrow down, reducing the blood flow to the brain tissues. Thus, the brain cells get deprived of oxygen and start collapsing within a few minutes.
Risk factors for stroke are similar to that of CAD. What you can do to prevent stroke is to keep your blood pressure low, avoid tobacco, and revamp your diet to include foods rich in fiber which can lower your blood cholesterol levels. Exercise for about 30 minutes every day breaking it to two to three chunks of 10 minutes each.
3) Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – Nearly 5.6% of the total deaths which occurred during 2012 were due to COPD, as per WHO. COPD is a progressive lung disease which makes it difficult for the patient to breathe. Both and women are at equal risk for the disease.
The major cause of COPD is smoking which could be either direct or second-hand smoking. The other causes include pollutants, unsafe working environment such as dust, smoke, fumes, etc. COPD cannot be cured, but its progression can be delayed.
The best solution to avoid the attack of COPD is to quit smoking. You should also avoid polluted air which has the irritants to trigger the disease. In the case of a family history of COPD, it is advisable to get it checked for the presence of the disease much in advance.
4) Lower Respiratory Tract Infections – These are a group of diseases which include influenza, pneumonia, and bronchitis which accounted for about 5.5% of the total deaths in 2012, as per the WHO.
These infections can be prevented by getting vaccinated against the viruses and bacteria. Minimize the close contact with people who are coughing or sneezing excessively. Wash your hands with antiseptic soaps before cooking, eating and after using toilets.
5) Cancers of the trachea, bronchi, and lung – About 2.9% of the total deaths which occurred globally during 2012 were due to trachea, bronchus, and lung cancers.
The risk factors include smoking (active and passive) and environmental toxins. So, avoid them to reduce your risk of contracting these cancers.
6) Diabetes mellitus – There are two types of diabetes, i.e. type 1 and type 2. In type 1 diabetes, the insulin production is very low while in type 2 diabetes, the insulin is produced in adequate levels but is not used effectively.
If the blood sugar levels are not managed in diabetic patients, several serious complications can occur which can lead to death. Nearly 2.7% of the overall deaths in 2012 were reported to be due to diabetes.
The risk factors include a poor diet, lack of exercise and excess weight. Take foods low in carbohydrates and rich in fibers. Strict adherence to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day can help the patient to reverse diabetes. Get regular health checkups in your early stages especially if you have a history of the disease.
7) HIV/AIDS – As per the WHO estimates, nearly 2.7% of deaths during 2012 were infected with HIV and lost their lives to AIDs. It is caused by a virus called human immunodeficiency virus which attacks the immune system. It can lead to AIDS, (i.e. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) and you become susceptible to various infections.
Follow safe sex such as using a new condom during every intercourse; tell your partner if you are an HIV patient. Avoid using the objects of the infected patients such as their needles and syringes for injecting drugs. If you are pregnant, get immediate medical help and follow the instructions of your doctor.
8) Diarrheal diseases – Diarrhea caused about 2.7% of the total deaths globally during 2012. It is the second largest killer of children who are below the age of 5 years.
Diarrhea is a condition in which your body looses more than 3 stools per day. If this continues for a few days, then it can lead to the loss of fluids and minerals from your body which can lead to death due to dehydration. Several intestinal infectious diseases cause diarrhea as a major symptom. The infection causing bacteria can spread through contaminated food and water, poor sanitary habits, etc.
Improved sanitary habits, drinking filtered water, washing hands before eating, can reduce the incidence of diarrhea.
9) Preterm births – The deaths of newborn babies born prematurely accounted for about 2.2% of the total deaths during 2012. Such babies can develop complications due to low birth weight.
Newborn deaths can be reduced or prevented with a proper care taken by the mother during pregnancy and after delivery. Take your physicians advice while you are pregnant.
10) Tuberculosis (TB) – TB is an infection of the lungs by the bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Most of the deaths with TB occur in patients who are infected with HIV. It accounted for about 2% of the overall deaths during 2012 as per the WHO reports.
Get vaccinated with the BCG, which offers excellent protection against TB (especially in children). Stay in rooms which are adequately ventilated. Eat a well-balanced food containing adequate proteins and calories. Maintain distance from people who are infected or wear protective masks when avoiding them is not possible.
People need to be more vigilant about preventing the most common deadly diseases which are literally killing us. Avoid the expensive trips to the emergency unit by taking precautionary measures much in advance. Save your money along with your precious life!
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