Chronic diseases and health promotion

Chronic disease Q&A

What are the health consequences of being overweight?

Being overweight or obese can have a serious impact on health. Carrying extra fat leads to serious health consequences such as cardiovascular disease (mainly heart disease and stroke), type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders like osteoarthritis, and some cancers (endometrial, breast and colon). These conditions cause premature death and substantial disability.

What is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

Although relatively few people have heard of it, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) kills on average one person every 10 seconds.

What triggers an asthma attack?

Asthma is a chronic breathing disorder characterized by recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing. Some causes and triggers are common to all people with asthma, and some are more individual. Although the fundamental causes of asthma are not completely understood, the strongest risk factors for developing asthma are inhaled asthma triggers.

What are refractive errors?

Refractive errors are problems with the eye that lead to poor vision. They are the most common kind of eye disorders. They occur when the eye is not able to correctly bend - or refract - the light that enters it. The result is blurred vision, which is sometimes so severe that it creates functional blindness for affected individuals.

What can I do to avoid a heart attack or a stroke?

According to WHO estimates, over 17 million people died of a cardiovascular disease such as heart attack or stroke in 2005. Contrary to popular belief, over 80% of these deaths occured in low and middle income countries, and men and women were equally affected.

What is the deadliest disease in the world?

According to the estimates in The world health report 2004, there were 57 million deaths in the world in 2002. The broad category of all "noncommunicable diseases" killed 33.5 million people; communicable diseases, maternal and perinatal conditions, and nutritional conditions killed 18.3 million people worldwide; and external causes of injuries killed 5.2 million people.