Health, by the Book

According to the World Health Organization, more than 220 million people worldwide have diabetes, and in 2005, an estimated 1.1 million people died from it. The type 2 diabetes epidemic continues to sweep across the world and the WHO projects that diabetes deaths will double between 2005 and 2030. In the United States alone, an estimated 24 million Americans struggling with the disease, up more than 3 million people from 2005 to 2009. The number of patient visits for diabetes rose from 25 million in 1994 to 36 million in 2007. Between 2001 and 2007, money spent by Americans on medications for diabetes increased from $6.7 billion to $12.5 billion.

Cardiovascular Disease is the number 1 killer worldwide. An estimated 17.1 million people died from Cardiovascular diseases in 2004, representing 29% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, an estimated 7.2million were due to coronary heart disease and 5.7 million were due to stroke. The WHO projects that by 2030, almost 23.6 million people will die from cardiovascular diseases! That is more than the entire population of Australia!

Worldwide, approximately 1.6 billion adults (age 15+) are overweight, and at least 400 million adults are obese. WHO projects that by 2015 approximately 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and more than 700 million will be obese. At least 20 million children under the age of 5 are overweight globally, and that is expected to increase as well. Overweight and obesity are now dramatically on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings. Overweight an obesity are related to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders (osteoarthritis), some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon), among other health problems.

Cancer accounted for 7.9 million deaths (around 13% of all deaths) in 2007 worldwide. Lung, stomach, liver, colon and breast cancer cause the most cancer deaths yearly. The World Health Organization estimates that about 30% of cancer deaths can be prevented. Of all the risk factors, tobacco us is the single most important risk factor for cancer. In other words, if you want to avoid cancer and you only do 1 thing to accomplish that, stop smoking. By 2030, WHO projects that 12 million people will die from cancer yearly.

The World Health Organization is targeting 4 risk factors that contribute significantly to Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer. These risk factors are tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and alcohol use. We will take a look at each of these diseases and their risk factors, and look at other preventable and treatable diseases in this section of the web site, and we invite you to use and share whatever information is helpful to you.

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