Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy
Source: The Lancet
Strong evidence shows that physical inactivity increases the risk of many adverse health conditions, including major non-communicable diseases such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast and colon cancers, and shortens life expectancy. Because much of the world’s population is inactive, this link presents a major public health issue. We aimed to quantify the effect of physical inactivity on these major non-communicable diseases by estimating how much disease could be averted if inactive people were to become active and to estimate gain in life expectancy at the population level.
For our analysis of burden of disease, we calculated population attributable fractions (PAFs) associated with physical inactivity using conservative assumptions for each of the major non-communicable diseases, by country, to estimate how much disease could be averted if physical inactivity were eliminated. We used life-table analysis to estimate gains in life expectancy of the population.
Worldwide, we estimate that physical inactivity causes 6% (ranging from 3·2% in southeast Asia to 7·8% in the eastern Mediterranean region) of the burden of disease from coronary heart disease, 7% (3·9—9·6) of type 2 diabetes, 10% (5·6—14·1) of breast cancer, and 10% (5·7—13·8) of colon cancer. Inactivity causes 9% (range 5·1—12·5) of premature mortality, or more than 5·3 million of the 57 million deaths that occurred worldwide in 2008. If inactivity were not eliminated, but decreased instead by 10% or 25%, more than 533 000 and more than 1·3 million deaths, respectively, could be averted every year. We estimated that elimination of physical inactivity would increase the life expectancy of the world’s population by 0·68 (range 0·41—0·95) years.
Physical inactivity has a major health effect worldwide. Decrease in or removal of this unhealthy behaviour could improve health substantially.
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Global cancer transitions according to the Human Development Index (2008—2030): a population-based study
Source: The Lancet
Cancer is set to become a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the coming decades in every region of the world. We aimed to assess the changing patterns of cancer according to varying levels of human development.
We used four levels (low, medium, high, and very high) of the Human Development Index (HDI), a composite indicator of life expectancy, education, and gross domestic product per head, to highlight cancer-specific patterns in 2008 (on the basis of GLOBOCAN estimates) and trends 1988—2002 (on the basis of the series in Cancer Incidence in Five Continents), and to produce future burden scenario for 2030 according to projected demographic changes alone and trends-based changes for selected cancer sites.
In the highest HDI regions in 2008, cancers of the female breast, lung, colorectum, and prostate accounted for half the overall cancer burden, whereas in medium HDI regions, cancers of the oesophagus, stomach, and liver were also common, and together these seven cancers comprised 62% of the total cancer burden in medium to very high HDI areas. In low HDI regions, cervical cancer was more common than both breast cancer and liver cancer. Nine different cancers were the most commonly diagnosed in men across 184 countries, with cancers of the prostate, lung, and liver being the most common. Breast and cervical cancers were the most common in women. In medium HDI and high HDI settings, decreases in cervical and stomach cancer incidence seem to be offset by increases in the incidence of cancers of the female breast, prostate, and colorectum. If the cancer-specific and sex-specific trends estimated in this study continue, we predict an increase in the incidence of all-cancer cases from 12·7 million new cases in 2008 to 22·2 million by 2030.
Our findings suggest that rapid societal and economic transition in many countries means that any reductions in infection-related cancers are offset by an increasing number of new cases that are more associated with reproductive, dietary, and hormonal factors. Targeted interventions can lead to a decrease in the projected increases in cancer burden through effective primary prevention strategies, alongside the implementation of vaccination, early detection, and effective treatment programmes.
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A three-part Series assesses the global public-health toll and policy implications of drug addiction. The first paper summarises data for the prevalence and consequences of problem use of amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine, and opioids. In high-income countries, illicit drug use contributes less to the burden of disease than tobacco, but a substantial proportion of that burden is due to alcohol. Intelligent policy responses to drug problems need better prevalence data for different types of illicit drug use and the harms that their use causes globally. This need is especially urgent in high-income countries with substantial rates of illicit drug use and in low-income and middle-income countries close to illicit drug production areas. The second paper reviews existing drug policies and highlights the need for greater reliance on scientific evidence-based policy making. The final paper examines the value of international drug conventions in protecting public health.
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Source: The Lancet
This four-part Series critically examines what we know about the global obesity pandemic: its drivers, its economic and health burden, the physiology behind weight control and maintenance, and what science tells us about the kind of actions that are needed to change our obesogenic environment and reverse the current tsunami of risk factors for chronic diseases in future generations.
The first paper looks at the global drivers of the epidemic; the second paper analyses obesity trends in the USA and UK, and their impact on prevalence of diseases and healthcare spending. The third paper introduces a new web-based bodyweight simulation model, that incorporates metabolic adaptations that occur with decreasing bodyweight; and the final paper assesses the interventions needed to halt and reverse the epidemic. Its authors conclude that the changes needed are likely to require many sustained interventions at several levels, but that national governments should take the lead.
Rising prevalence of obesity is a worldwide health concern because excess weight gain within populations forecasts an increased burden from several diseases, most notably cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancers. In this report, we used a simulation model to project the probable health and economic consequences in the next two decades from a continued rise in obesity in two ageing populations—the USA and the UK. These trends project 65 million more obese adults in the USA and 11 million more obese adults in the UK by 2030, consequently accruing an additional 6—8·5 million cases of diabetes, 5·7—7·3 million cases of heart disease and stroke, 492 000—669 000 additional cases of cancer, and 26—55 million quality-adjusted life years forgone for USA and UK combined. The combined medical costs associated with treatment of these preventable diseases are estimated to increase by $48—66 billion/year in the USA and by £1·9—2 billion/year in the UK by 2030. Hence, effective policies to promote healthier weight also have economic benefits.
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