When one hears of the term ‘man-made’ disasters, the incidents that instantaneously come to mind are industrial accidents, nuclear disasters, stampedes, fires, and oil spills. No doubt these incidents have caused innumerable loss of lives and environmental damage, however, lifestyle diseases are the leading killers globally. As they are mostly caused by the ‘way we live’, they can be called the biggest man-made disaster. Before we proceed further, let us first understand as to what are lifestyle diseases.
What are lifestyle diseases?
Lifestyle diseases are a new breed of killer diseases that occur as a result of prolonged exposure to a set of similar risk factors. Unlike infectious diseases, they are mostly not caused by any microorganisms, and as such are not contagious. Hence, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has labelled them as noncommunicable diseases (NCD). As most NCDs are chronic – of long duration and slow progression, they are also known as chronic diseases. As the way people live plays an important role in the causation of these diseases, they are also referred to as Lifestyle diseases. Chronic diseases: the silent killers.