Wednesday August 15, 2018

Over 95 per cent of world’s population have health issues: Lancet

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Washington: In a shocking revelation, a major analysis of disease-burden worldwide has found that over 95 percent of the world’s population has health problems — with over a third having more than five ailments.

Just one in 20 people worldwide (4.3 percent) had no health problems in 2013, with a third of the world’s population (2.3 billion individuals) experiencing more than five ailments, claimed the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) 2013 published in the prestigious journal The Lancet.

Moreover, the research shows that worldwide the proportion of lost years of healthy life (disability-adjusted life years) due to illness (rather than death) rose from around a fifth (21 percent) in 1990 to almost a third (31 percent) in 2013.

“In 2013, low back pain and major depression ranked among the top 10 greatest contributors to disability in every country, causing more health loss than diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma combined,” the study said.

Low back pain, depression, iron-deficiency anaemia, neck pain and age-related hearing loss resulted in the largest overall health loss worldwide in 1990 and 2013.

In 2013, musculoskeletal disorders (low back pain, neck pain and arthritis) and mental and substance abuse disorders (depression, anxiety, and drug and alcohol use disorders) accounted for almost half of all health loss worldwide.

Importantly, rates of disability are declining much more slowly than death rates. For example, while increases in rates of diabetes have been substantial, rising by around 43 percent over the past 23 years, death rates from diabetes increased by only 9 percent.

“The fact that mortality is declining faster than non-fatal disease and injury prevalence is further evidence of the importance of paying attention to the rising health loss from these leading causes of disability, and not simply focusing on reducing mortality,” said Theo Vos, lead author and professor of global health at University of Washington.

Worldwide, the number of individuals with several illnesses rapidly increased both with age and in absolute terms between 1990 and 2013.

In 2013, about a third (36 percent) of children aged 0-4 years in developed countries had no disorder compared with just 0.03 percent of adults older than 80 years. Furthermore, the number of individuals with more than 10 disorders increased by 52 percent between 1990 and 2013.

“As the world’s population grows, and the proportion of elderly people increases, the number of people living in sub-optimum health is set to rise rapidly over coming decades,” the authors said.

Large, preventable causes of health loss, particularly serious musculoskeletal disorders and mental and behavioural disorders, have not received the attention that they deserve.

“Addressing these issues will require a shift in health priorities around the world, not just to keep people alive into old age, but also to keep them healthy,” the authors added.

-IANS

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Reduce Loneliness And Boost Your Mental Health With Cycling

The study stressed on the need for "an integrated approach to urban planning, transport planning and public health is needed.

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Cycling can reduce your loneliness, boost mental health
Cycling can reduce your loneliness, boost mental health. Flickr

Feeling lonely? Riding your bicycles may not only improve your general and mental health, but also increase social interaction, says a study.

The study showed that cycling is the healthiest mode of transport and is associated with better self-perceived general health, better mental health, greater vitality, lower self-perceived stress and fewer feelings of loneliness.

“The findings suggest that active transport –especially cycling– should be encouraged in order to improve health and increase social interaction,” said lead author Avila Palencia from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in Barcelona, Spain.

walking, was associated with good self-perceived general health
walking, was associated with good self-perceived general health. Pixabay

The second most beneficial transport mode, walking, was associated with good self-perceived general health, greater vitality, and more contact with friends and/or family.

“Ours is the first study to associate the use of multiple urban transport modes with health effects such as mental health and social contact. It also allowed us to highlight the positive effect of walking, which in previous studies was not very conclusive,” she added.

The study, published in the journal Environment International, was carried out in seven European cities: Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Orebro, Rome, Vienna and Zurich and included more than 8,800 people.

The transport modes assessed in the study were car, motorbike, public transport, bicycle, electric bicycle and walking.

cycling is the healthiest mode of transport
Cycling is the healthiest mode of transport Pixabay

Driving and public-transport use were associated with poor self-perceived general health, while cars were linked with fewer feelings of loneliness.

“This result is most likely due to the fact that the study population drove very infrequently and most journeys by car were probably for social purposes, such as visiting a family member or a friend,” the researchers explained.

Also Read: Taking Care of Mental Health Problems in Children, may Boost Parent’s Mental Health Too

The study stressed on the need for “an integrated approach to urban planning, transport planning and public health is needed in order to develop policies that promote active transport, such as adding more segregated cycle lanes for a better environment for cyclists,” the researchers noted. (IANS)