[vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1462850584089{margin-top: 15px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Why Health Screening?” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:35|text_align:center|color:%23040060″ google_fonts=”font_family:Libre%20Baskerville%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C700|font_style:700%20bold%20regular%3A700%3Anormal” css=”.vc_custom_1463043714933{margin-bottom: 10px !important;}”][vc_custom_heading text=”The Global Magnitude and Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:center|color:%23040060″ google_fonts=”font_family:Libre%20Baskerville%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal” css=”.vc_custom_1463714572237{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1423751086688{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_custom_heading text=”What are NCDs?” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%23040060″ google_fonts=”font_family:Libre%20Baskerville%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal” css=”.vc_custom_1463043756928{margin-bottom: 10px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

NCDs stands  for Non-Communicable Diseases and encompasses the following medical conditions :

  • Cardiovascular diseases (especially heart attacks)
  • Strokes
  • Cancers
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic respiratory (lung) diseases

The list can be expanded to include obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol and dementia.  They are sometimes known as “chronic lifestyle diseases”.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_custom_heading text=”Why are NCDs so important?” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%23040060″ google_fonts=”font_family:Libre%20Baskerville%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal” css=”.vc_custom_1463043768903{margin-bottom: 10px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

  • NCDs account for > 60% of all deaths worldwide currently.
  • By 2030, it is estimated that NCDs will be responsible for 7 in 10 deaths
  • In addition to the human toll, the economic impact of NCDs is staggering accounting for an estimated US$6.3 trillion in 2010
  • From 2005 – 2015 the estimated income losses attributable to NCDs exceeded $1 trillion in just 3 countries :
    • China ( $558 billion)
    • Russia ( $303 billion)
    • India ($237 billion)
  • The chronic disease mortality burden is heaviest in the less affluent nations. Of the world’s roughly 35 million annual deaths attributable to NCDs, approximately 80% occur in low and middle income countries
    1. Cardiovascular disease and stroke killed 17.1 million people per year globally with 82% of those deaths occurring in low and middle income countries.
    2. Cancer is responsible for roughly 7.1 million deaths annually, 4.8 million of which (67% of the world’s cancer deaths) occur in low and middle income countries.
    3. Diabetes mellitus kills 4 million people globally a year and 85% of those deaths are in low and middle income countries where 73% of the world’s diabetics are found (roughly 208 million people).
  • In addition to deaths from NCDs, chronic diseases also inflict a major toll on the quality of life and successful ageing.
  • The growth of NCD incidence and mortality is projected to disproportionately affect poor and disadvantaged populations thereby contributing to the ever widening health gaps between and within countries.
    • The world can no longer afford to ignore the ever-expanding global, social and economic threat posed by chronic diseases.
    • The burden of chronic NCDs placed on individuals, families and societies is massive and costly.
    • “No country is spared”.
    • Health systems in both rich and poor countries are struggling to cope with the growing burden of NCDs.

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_custom_heading text=”How to fight NCDs?” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%23040060″ google_fonts=”font_family:Libre%20Baskerville%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal” css=”.vc_custom_1463043781570{margin-bottom: 10px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1471320137780{margin-bottom: 20px !important;}”]There are 5 levels of engagement :

  1. The individual
  2. The family
  3. The society/community
  4. Country/government
  5. Regional/international

At The Individual Level

Health care insurance plans are crafted to ensure that every individual has enough finances to deal with the evitable plaque of NCDs and the accompanying disease complications, disabilities and loss of healthy life years and ultimately the infliction of death.  To name a few :

  • Medisave Plan
  • MediShield Plan
  • Integrated Shield Plans

At Country and Community Levels

In Singapore, the Government and Ministry of Health has set aside health care budget to deal with the ever increasing rise of NCDs – building new hospitals (quarternery, tertiary, community, step-down care hospitals), elderly care home, nursing homes and a whole range of community-health support systems.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_custom_heading text=”What causes NCDs?” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%23040060″ google_fonts=”font_family:Libre%20Baskerville%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal” css=”.vc_custom_1463043795471{margin-bottom: 10px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1471319190050{margin-bottom: 25px !important;}”]It is the genes, the environment and the lifestyle habits.  The interaction of these 3 factors determine health and lifespan.  Without a doubt, healthy lifestyle changes can lower mortality from NCD and prolong life (healthy life).

The keys to prevent lifestyle diseases are :

  • Early detection of unhealthy behavioural habits
  • Early intervention of risk factors
  • Early practice of healthy living

Why? Apart from genes, NCDs can be prevented as the environment and lifestyle behavioural habits are modifiable.

The American Heart Association has identified 7 Ideal Cardiovascular Health Metrics (CVH) and have provided definitive goal targets for each of these metrics for every individual to achieve.  They are called “low risk factors” (as against high risk factors).  Achieving the 7 ideal CVH metrics will put an individual at very low risk of developing NCDs.

Health screening is but one way an individual can start the search to a healthier life.  Knowing what you have or don’t have that will allow you to take charge of your life and make the change.

A new field of medicine has emerged, called “Lifestyle Medicine”. Lifestyle Medicine and its intervention is changing the future of the healthcare landscape and the way health is managed.  It will create new models of care and clinical incentives for the individuals, families and the communities.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_custom_heading text=”What is Lifestyle Medicine?” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:left|color:%23040060″ google_fonts=”font_family:Libre%20Baskerville%3Aregular%2Citalic%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal” css=”.vc_custom_1463043809002{margin-bottom: 10px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1462934066353{margin-bottom: 16px !important;}”]It is about :

  • Diet – what you eat?
  • Exercise – how much exercise do you get?
  • Stress management – how well do you respond and deal with stress?
  • Support – how much support do you get from your loved ones, family, friends, community and country?

Lifestyle medicine and intervention can :

  • Treat and reverse NCDs (e.g. coronary artery disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes mellitus, prostate cancer, breast and colon cancer).
  • Upregulate protective genes and turn off or down-regulate harmful genes (that causes cancer of the prostate, breast and colon).
  • Lengthen telomeres which are the end zones of the chromosome that leads to ageing and potentially reverse ageing and turn back the “biological age” clock.

 

Health screening therefore has taken on a new purpose and meaning and if carefully selected and instituted, can assist in achieving the 7 Ideal CVH metrics along with the benefits.  Healthcare cost can then be reduced significantly as NCDs treatment will be reduced accordingly.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner css=”.vc_custom_1423749309605{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_inner css=”.vc_custom_1423751101886{margin-bottom: 17px !important;padding-top: 10px !important;}”][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text font_size=”15″]

by Dr Peter Yan
Medical Director & Co-Founder
Consultant Cardiologist & Physician
Gleneagles & Mt Elizabeth Medical Centres and Hospitals

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