In the Proceedings of the IAHCP 26th Annual Scientific Meeting and Conference, Blackpool, UK, 18 – 21 July 2015
Effects of Chronic Diseases in the Community: Analysis of the Public Health issues, by Maria Jana Kingsley-Godwin
Maria Jana Kingsley-Godwin informed conference that the objective of her study was to evaluate the public health perspectives of the effects of chronic diseases in the community. She carried this study out by a systematic clinical review of the literature.
Conference was told that Maria Jana carried out a systematic literature review of online databases such as Medline and EMBASE, and that she visited specialist library sources, journals, magazines, theses, grey literature, various published and unpublished materials and expert opinions.
The methods used by Maria Jana involved formulating questions on various chronic diseases which were then used to undertake the clinical review. The questions included: the health risk behaviours that cause chronic diseases, epidemiology, prevention, prevalence, risk factors and cost of treatments for different chronic diseases commonly found in the community. She told conference of the systematic review of the literature she performed; evaluating online databases, printed journals and articles, online journals, books, published and unpublished materials, theses, magazines, grey literature from 1966 to 2015, and expert opinions on various clinical capacities. The data obtained was ranked in order of superiority and evidence, grading levels in order to reach the best data for each question asked.
Conference was then made aware of the results. Firstly, a consensus description of chronic disease from literature and experts is that it is a disease that persists for a long time, especially one lasting three months or more. Generally, it was found that chronic diseases tend to become more common with age. The identified leading chronic diseases in developed countries include arthritis, cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks and stroke, cancer such as breast and colon cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and seizures, obesity, and oral health problems. Each of these conditions plagues older adults in developed nations, and also in developing countries.
Maria went on to inform conference that chronic diseases were often referred to as the leading causes of death and disability in the world. In many studies, chronic diseases and conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis were listed as among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems. Statistical evidence showed the following results:
Another factor that Maria Jana brought to the attention of conference is that health risk behaviours can cause chronic diseases. Health risk factors are unhealthy behaviours that can be changed. Four of these health risk behaviours: lack of exercise or physical activity, poor nutrition, tobacco use, and drinking too much alcohol, can cause much of the illness, suffering, and early death related to chronic diseases and conditions. Research findings also showed the following data:
In conclusion Maria Jana emphasised that chronic diseases - such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, and arthritis - are the leading causes of disability and death in the World. More than 40% of global adults suffer from a chronic disease, and chronic diseases are responsible for 23% of all hospitalisations internationally. Six out of every 10 deaths in many parts of the world are caused by chronic diseases. Heart disease and cancer account for over half of all deaths in the world. Consequently, the illness is long term, and its effects can be stressful, and may change the way a person lives, and how they interact with others. Therefore, in chronic or long-term illnesses, sufferers would have to adjust to the demands of the illness and the therapy used to treat the condition in order to maximise the benefit and have a better prognosis. Hence it is important to speak to a doctor or health care provider for help in dealing with a chronic illness.
Correspondence: Maria Jana Kingsley-Godwin, Author and Medical Writer,London, England, UK
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