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More than 85% of deaths in Chile are due to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) & More Latest News Here

 

Arterial hypertension, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, certain types of cancer and chronic lung disease are some of the pathologies that are grouped within the so-called ENT and that present high frequency in the Chilean population. In the Global NCD Action Month specialists put the accent on these pathologies.

In fact, 85.8% of the total deaths that occurred in our country in 2019 were due -precisely- to non-communicable diseasesaccording to a publication in the Medical Journal of Chile.

These types of pathologies not only impact Chile. According to NCD Alliance -non-governmental organization that seeks to promote actions for the prevention and care of non-communicable diseases- About 41 million people die globally each year from NCDs, accounting for 71% of all deaths . To get a perspective of this figure, the deaths officially attributed to Covid-19, from its beginning in 2020 to June 2022, exceed 6 million people.

RISK FACTOR’S

Jorge Jalil, cardiologist and Past President of the Chilean Society of Hypertension, emphasizes that NCDs share several risk factors: sedentary lifestyle, overweight/obesity, smoking, unhealthy eating and harmful use of alcohol.

“According to the latest National Health Survey, 27.6% of the population in Chile has high blood pressure and 12.3% has diabetes mellitus. To this we add that 33.3% are smokers, 86.7% are sedentary and 74.2% are overweight, obese and morbidly obese. All these indices exacerbate these diseases, representing an even greater risk of cardiovascular diseases and also other NCDs”, he highlights.

The specialist warns that In recent times there has been a notable increase in the population under 40 years of age, which is presenting some type of non-communicable diseases, with the consequent danger that this entails.

“Hypertension is considered one of the most catastrophic severe diseases because, among other reasons, it is silent and a large population is hypertensive. Therefore, by not being treated, the risk of stroke, myocardial infarction, chronic kidney damage or heart failure and dementia increases”, he stresses.

In relation to diabetes, patients are at risk of suffering a series of consequences that can cause death or disability, such as blindness due to diabetic retinopathy, heart attack, loss of a limb due to occlusion of arterial vessels.

PREVENTIVE CHECKS

The good news is that, although there is a family predisposition to develop this type of disease, they can be avoided by incorporating preventive behaviors and healthy habits.

“If, for example, a family is prone to hypertension or diabetes, it is important to start monitoring early to take precautions and not wait for the disease to set in,” advises Jalil.

The cardiologist emphasizes the need to measure cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose levels around the age of 20. As well as controlling the blood pressure of minors, in the control of healthy children.

CHANGES OF HABITS

Although changing people’s habits is crucial, the specialist acknowledges that it is one of the most difficult aspects to modify. “You have to try to make one change at a time and it is necessary to repeat a certain number of times so that a habit is created”, holds.

In relation to food, the fundamental thing is to take care of the intake of fast-absorbing carbohydrates, such as bread, cookies, potatoes, rice, noodles, sugary products and a long etcetera. “A higher consumption of carbohydrates increases obesity, cholesterol, risk of diabetes, among others,” he adds.

The specialist advises opting for legumes because they are more protein and, in general, consuming a balanced diet, rich in vegetables, fish and reducing -but not eliminating- carbohydrates and red meat.

IT IS POSSIBLE TO STOP SMOKING?

The answer is yes, but you have to have willpower and in those cases in which the person smokes more than 10 cigarettes a day, the American Cancer Society recommends professional support so that they indicate prescription medications and psychological support.

BREAK WITH THE SEDENTARISM

In order to break with a sedentary lifestyle, it is necessary to move again daily, and several times a day. If you worry about walking 45 min to 1 hour a day (which does not have to be continuous) you will be spending, on average, between 200 and 400 calories, which multiplied by 7, usually represent a total expenditure for physical activity, greater than 3 hours of aerobics you can do in a gym during the week.

Some simple and effective ideas to break with a sedentary lifestyle

Active breaks: set an alarm to go off every 1 hour, and walk or move for 3 to 5 minutes.

• Stop taking the elevator and escalators and prefer the stairs.

• Get off a few blocks before your usual bus or subway stop and walk to your destination.

• At the supermarket and shopping center, park as far away from the entrance.

• When you have stops or breaks, which are mandatory, you can do short sets of squats or other exercises.

• If you are telecommuting and have the space, you can walk while you answer a call.

• If your job requires you to spend 8 hours sitting in front of a screen, consider changing your posture on a regular basis.

• Take advantage of household chores to move more.

• Wash the car.

• Water the plants.

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