High Levels of Preventable Chronic Disease, Injury and Mental Health Problems

High Levels of Preventable Chronic Disease, Injury and Mental Health Problems

  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
  • Cancer (skin, breast, lung)
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory disease
  • Injury
  • Mental health problems and illnesses

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

  • Encompasses coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, heart failure, atherosclerosis
  • Accumulation of cholesterol in arteries can cause hypertension
  • Encompasses 35% of overall deaths
  • Risks include smoking, lack of physical activity, obesity, poor diet, heredity
  • High prevalence in males since they ignore early signs
  • ATSIs are at higher risk because of elevated levels of smoking and uncontrolled diet
  • Urbanization can be an environmental determinant as it decreases physical activity

Cancer (Skin, Breast, Lung)

  • Skin
    • Caused due to excessive exposure in the sun
    • Accounts for 80% of newly diagnosed cancers
    • Risk factors include: outdoor labour, sun exposure during 10am-3pm, sun exposure during childhood, fair skin etc.
    • Family history can be a sociocultural determinant
    • Having to work in outdoor jobs without protective equipments due to low socioeconomic status as well as unaware of protective strategies
    • Demographics could be an important economic determinant (some regions are near the equator being genuinely warm)
  • Breast Cancer
    • Each year 145 males and 15600 females are diagnosed with breast cancer
    • Risk factors include Age, Gender, Family history, Late pregnancy or menopause, Early onset of menstruation
    • Caucasians are at greater risk of breast cancer development
    • People residing in rural areas do not have access to health facilities and aren’t aware of self screening methods
  • Lung
    • Leading cancer type in terms of death rate
    • Risk factors include: smoking, radioactive gas, passive smoking, asbestos, family history, metal/coal/gas exposure, previous lung diseases
    • ATSIs are at higher risks along with individuals who are exposed to smoke due to occupational hazard
    • Uneducated individuals are more likely to smoke because of not being aware of its effect on the smoker as well as surrounding people
    • Industrialization is leading to emission of poisonous gases which when inhaled can cause cancer


  • A medical condition where glucose levels in blood elevate.
  • Can be of two categories:
    • Type 1: The pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin for glucose metabolism.
    • Type 2: The pancreas is able to produce insulin but the cells aren’t responsive to insulin.
  • Common symptoms include:
    • Polyurea
    • Polydipsia
    • Polyphagia
  • Risk factors include: Poor lifestyle, obesity, alcohol, age, genetics, no physical activity, high fat/sugar diet
  • People with zero control over eating habits often have fluctuating blood sugar.
  • Awareness campaigns could promote lifestyle changes from sedentary to active
  • Best to seek medical care if symptoms worsen.

Respiratory Disease

  • Conditions range from minor to lethal clinical dispositions
  • Characterized by shortness of breath, even while performing less intense tasks
  • Localization of diseases are spanned throughout:
    • nose
    • throat
    • upper and lower airways
    • lungs
  • Examples: asthma, hay fever, chronic sinusitis, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


  • Health aberration due to a sudden external force
  • Examples include: accidents, workplace hazard, violence, poisoning
  • Can also result from sports and exercises

Mental Health Problems and Illnesses

  • Affects overall cognitive abilities and daily activities
  • Often a person zones out of his surroundings, experiencing flashbacks and unable to cope with surroundings
  • Mental disorders can include non-psychotic illness, such as depression, eating disorders and anxiety disorders; or psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.