Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Lifestyle disease

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Lifestyle diseases (also sometimes called diseases of longevity or diseases of civilization interchangeably) are defined as diseases linked with the way people live their life. This is commonly caused by alcohol, drug and smoking abuse as well as lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating. Diseases that impact on our lifestyle are heart disease, stroke, obesity and type II diabetes. The diseases that appear to increase in frequency as countries become more industrialized and people live longer. They can include Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, atherosclerosis, asthma, cancer, chronic liver disease or cirrhosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, chronic renal failure, osteoporosis, stroke, depression, and obesity. In the U.K the death rate is four times higher from respiratory disease caused by an unhealthy lifestyle


Some commenters maintain a distinction between diseases of longevity and diseases of civilization. Certain diseases, such as diabetes, dental caries and asthma, appear at greater rates in young populations living in the "western" way; their increased incidence is not related to age, so the terms cannot accurately be used interchangeably for all diseases.

Causes of the disease

Diet and lifestyle are major factors thought to influence susceptibility to many diseases. Drug abuse, tobacco smoking, and alcohol drinking, as well as a lack of or too much exercise may also increase the risk of developing certain diseases, especially later in life. Between 1995 and 2005 813,000 Australians were hospitalised due to alcohol

In many Western countries, people began to consume more meat, dairy products, vegetable oils, tobacco, sugary foods, Coca-Cola, and alcoholic beverages during the latter half of the 20th century. People also developed sedentary lifestyles and greater rates of obesity. In 2014 11.2 million Australians were overweight or obese Rates of colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, endometrial cancer and lung cancer started increasing after this dietary change. People in developing countries, whose diets still depend largely on low-sugar starchy foods with little meat or fat have lower rates of these cancers. Causes are not just from smoking and alcohol abuse. Adults can develop lifestyle diseases through behavioural factors that impact on them. These can be unemployment, unsafe life, poor social environment, working conditions, stress and home life can change a person’s lifestyle to increase their risk of developing one of these diseases.

Death Statistics in Australia

In 2013 there were 147,678 deaths within Australia mostly from lifestyle diseases including smoking of tobacco, alcohol use and other drugs, violence and unhealthy weight have impacted on Australians' death rate. The leading cause of death of Australian males was heart disease with 11,016 deaths, followed by lung cancer with 4,995 deaths, and chronic pulmonary disease killing 3,572. All these conditions were mainly attributed to smoking, alcohol abuse or unhealthy lifestyle. In 2013 coronary heart disease was the leading cause of death in 8,750 women, mainly as a result of their lifestyle. Dementia and Alzheimer disease came second, affecting 7,277 females and thirdly, cerebrovascular disease, killing 6,368. These top three causes of deaths could be minimized through lifestyle changes within the Australian population.

Table Shows that ages of people dying and the top five diseases of which they are dying.

Death Statistics in the United States of America

In 1900, the top three causes of death in the United States were pneumonia/influenza, tuberculosis, and diarrhea/enteritis. Communicable diseases accounted for about 60 percent of all deaths. In 1900, heart disease and cancer were ranked number four and eight respectively. Since the 1940s, the majority of deaths in the United States have resulted from heart disease, cancer, and other degenerative diseases. And, by the late 1990s, degenerative diseases accounted for more than 60 percent of all deaths.

Lifestyle diseases have their onset later in an individual's life; they appear to increase in frequency as countries become more industrialized and people live longer. This suggests that the life expectancy at birth of 49.24 years in 1900 was too short for degenerative diseases to occur, compared to a life expectancy at birth of 77.8 years in 2004. Also, survivorship to the age of 50 was 58.5% in 1900, and 93.7% in 2007.


Prevention is remedies or activities that aim to reduce the likelihood of a disease or disorder affecting people. Lifestyle diseases are preventable for children if parents set them on the correct path, as our early life decisions and influences can impact us later on in life. Lifestyle diseases can be prevented through reduction in smoking of tobacco the Australian Government has started this by introducing plain packaging for all tobacco products and increasing the prices of tobacco production. Overweight and obesity can be prevented through a well balanced lifestyle through healthy eating and exercise. Prevention can come about by a person undertaking 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily or by doing 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week. Examples of moderate exercise includes a brisk walk, swim, bike ride or it can also be everyday life activities like mowing the lawn or house cleaning. All causes of lifestyle disease can be prevented through giving up smoking and other drugs, reducing ones intake of alcohol, processed meats (like bacon and sausages), red meats (like pork, beef and lamb), fatty foods and by engaging in daily exercise.


Lifestyle disease Wikipedia