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While the world focuses solely on the public health risk from the COVID-19 outbreak, virtually no attention is devoted to diseases that are not transmissible but can be, in many cases, avoided by living a healthy lifestyle.
Non-communicable diseases were blamed for seven of the world’s top 10 causes of death in 2020 and fast food consumption and undisciplined lifestyles have received the brunt of the blame, according to a report.
Studies show, for example, that changes in lifestyle in Bangladesh and the move toward fast food by the public have taken a toll on the population. The country saw a 13.7 percent increase in stroke deaths from 2015 to 2019. Ischaemic heart disease jumped nearly 25 percent over the same time period and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was also on the rise.
“Fast food consumption should be halted,” Dr. Shafiqul Islam, an associate professor at the Department of Neurosurgery of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, said. “Along with a disciplined lifestyle, high blood pressure and diabetes must be controlled to help prevent stroke.”
Noncommunicable diseases kill 41 million globally per year and more than a third of them prematurely, The Jakarta Post reported. That means over 13 million deaths per year could be avoided with a lifestyle change. Tobacco use, physical inactivity, harmful use of alcohol, and diets all contribute to these deaths.
To put it into perspective, COVID-19 has been circulating for 22 months and has killed just over 4 million.
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