The results of a short human experiment showed that when people think of the deadliest diseases, they’d always go for the fast-acting, incurable ones. Funny enough, most of these diseases don’t make the list of the world’s deadliest diseases. Statistics showed that an estimated 56.4 million people died around the globe in 2015, and 68% were due to diseases that progressed slowly. Another thing to take note of is that most of these deadly diseases are partially preventable. The non-preventable factors include access to proper and quality health care and where the person lives.
Although some of these deadliest diseases show early symptoms, most people flag them off. This ignorance has claimed lots of lives and is a very profound risk factor.
Below are some of the deadliest diseases around.
Ischemic heart disease or coronary artery disease
Coronary artery disease (CAD) tops the list as the deadliest occurs when the blood vessels in charge of supplying blood to the heart become narrowed. The main cause of the narrowing of blood vessels is atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the build-up of fatty deposits that narrow a blood vessel. This narrowed blood vessel causes a lot of complications to the affected person. In addition, untreated coronary artery disease can easily lead to heart failure, chest pain, and arrhythmia. The possible causes of coronary artery disease include
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol level
- Family history of CAD
CAD can easily be prevented by employing some healthy practices like
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Avoid smoking
- Staying away from alcohol
- Eating a balanced diet that’s low in sodium
A stroke occurs due to the blockage or leakage of an artery from the brain. Stroke, also known as cerebrovascular accident (CVA), is caused by the deprivation of brain cells of oxygen. Once there is a breach in the supply of oxygenated blood to the brain, the brain cells begin to die off. During a stroke, you feel some sort of numbness and confusion. In fact, some recorded not being able to walk or see properly. If left untreated, stroke can cause long-term disabilities. The causes of stroke include
- High blood pressure
- Family history of stroke
The chances of developing stroke can be reduced with preventive care, medications, and certain lifestyle changes.
Lower respiratory infection
Lower respiratory infection refers to a group of infections that affects the airways and the lungs. Such infections include
- Influenza or the common flu
Although lower respiratory infections are usually caused by viruses, some are caused by bacteria. The main and common symptom of lower respiratory infections is coughing. If left untreated (lower respiratory infection), it could lead to breathing failures and eventually death. Unfortunately, many are unaware of this breathtaking fact. The causes of lower respiratory infections include,
- Poor air quality
- Poor immune system
- The flu
Getting flu shots yearly is one of the best preventive measures against lower respiratory infections.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive lung disease that makes it very difficult to breathe properly. In 2004, about 64 million were diagnosed with this disease. The causes of the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease include
- Smoking or inhaling secondhand smoke
- Family history
- History of respiratory infections and problems
- Being around lung irritants
Presently, there’s no known cure for COPD. However, its development in the human body can be slowed down by certain medications. The best thing is to avoid COPD by staying away from cigarettes and secondhand smoke, and lung irritants.
Respiratory (Trachea, larynx, bronchus, and lung) cancer
The main causes of these types of cancer are smoking, inhaling secondhand smoke, and environmental toxins.
Diabetes refers to a group of diseases that affects the insulin production of the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes acts in such a way that the pancreas is unable to produce any insulin. The cause of this is unknown till date. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the insulin produced by the pancreas is not enough to carry out the needful processes. This type of diabetes can be caused by many ways, including poor diet, being overweight, and lack of exercise. The causes of diabetes are high blood pressure, high blood sugar, lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, and excess body weight.
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
Alzheimer’s disease is a disease that destroys memory and interrupts normal mental functions like thinking, reasoning, and typical behavior. The causes of Alzheimer’s disease include being above 65, Down syndrome, head trauma, unhealthy lifestyle, existing mild cognitive impairment, and family history. There’s currently no sure preventive care for Alzheimer’s disease. It is still quite unclear to researchers why some have it and others don’t. Some suggestions show that a heart-healthy diet containing fruits and vegetables, low in saturated fat, and high in good fat sources could be helpful.
Although the death tolls of some diseases have increased and others have decreased, the list holds some of the deadliest diseases around. A good approach to reducing the risk of any of these conditions is to switch to a healthy lifestyle with good nutrition and exercise. Avoiding smoking and drinking in moderation can also be helpful. For bacterial or viral infections, proper handwashing and sanitation can help prevent or reduce your risk.