Lifestyle Diseases: A Threat to the Healthy Existence of Humankind

Dec 1, 2021
3 min read

As the name goes, lifestyle diseases are ailments that crop up due to unhealthy living. A sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diets, tobacco, and alcohol consumption have become the way of living for most people nowadays. The consequences are scary. As per a recent WHO report, 41 million deaths every year are due to lifestyle diseases or non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This is equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally.

Common Lifestyle diseases

The most common lifestyle diseases are obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disorders. These diseases are no more a concern for only the old. The modern lifestyle has fueled the occurrence of these health disorders and people of all age groups are prone to these diseases. Day by day the numbers are shooting up at an alarming rate.

The major concern is the fact that people who are at the risk of NCDs belong to the most productive age group (between 26-59 years) and the steep rise in the number of affected people in the 35 plus age group. The burden of NCDs in India is expected to persist as 65% of India’s population is below the age of 35.

Let’s glance through the common lifestyle diseases, their symptoms, and ways to keep them at bay.


When a person’s Body Mass Index (BMI) is greater than 25, he or she is considered to be obese. BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. Lack of physical activity and an unhealthy diet are the major contributors to obesity.

Obesity, the Growing Health Concern in India and the Need to Tackle it -  NDTV Food

The common symptoms are breathlessness, increased sweating, fatigue, and joint pain. Apart from pulling down your overall appearance, obesity may also lead to other chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. Eat healthy and exercise regularly to maintain healthy body weight and stay in shape.

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Hypertension or high blood pressure often has no symptoms and thus remains undiagnosed. When left untreated for a long time, it increases the risk of heart diseases and strokes.

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In today's fast-paced life, stress and anxiety have become normal. This triggers a rise in blood pressure. The culture of late-night work shifts and parties leads to sleep deprivation. Lack of sound sleep for a prolonged period is also associated with hypertension. Take time for self-care. Take breaks to destress yourself and take enough rest.  


The number of diabetic patients in India is growing substantially. In urban areas, it has shown a steep rise from 2 percent in the 1970s to 10-20% in 2020. The situation is even worse in the metros where the cases are 35-40%.

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Being overweight and physical inactivity are the key contributors to this disease which leads to insulin insensitivity and spike in blood sugar levels. Healthy eating, maintaining body weight and regular physical activity can help one to manage diabetes.

Respiratory Cancer and Cirrhosis

Though fuel emission and air pollution lead to many respiratory disorders, smoking and tobacco use are the major contributors to pulmonary diseases like lung, bronchus, and trachea cancer. Quit smoking and stay away from tobacco products to ward off the risk of respiratory cancers.

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Cirrhosis is a condition referred to as the damage of the liver mainly due to excessive consumption of alcohol. It can also happen due to hepatitis. However, fatty liver is a condition caused due to obesity and diabetes. Limiting the intake of alcohol, avoiding oily and spicy food can help you keep off these diseases.  

Cardiovascular disorders

The major factor that triggers cardiovascular disorders is lack of physical activity. Long-term depression also leads to heart diseases. Those who are suffering from conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes are at increased risk of heart diseases.

Regular workouts, a healthy diet, and managing stress can help you have a healthy heart.


Leading a healthy lifestyle can significantly help you overcome the risk of lifestyle diseases. Eat right, exercise regularly, have enough rest, and limit the consumption of alcohol and tobacco to stay healthy and free from diseases.

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