‘Inactivity may diminish life expectancy, besides influencing ageing process’.
That lifestyle diseases are prevalent more among those who follow a sedentary lifestyle than those who are physically active is a given. But their incidence is 62% and 9%, respectively, as per the results of a survey carried out in Palakkad and Malappuram districts, and could be some food for thought.
The survey titled ‘Prevalence of lifestyle diseases: Comparison with respect to gender, locale, age and lifestyle’ was done by V. Nandya, an assistant professor with the Department of Physical Education, University of Calicut. The sample size was 200 people. Data collection was done between 2018 and 2019 from hospitals and other places.
The study found that the prevalence of lifestyle diseases in urban areas was 37.14% compared to rural areas where it was 33.85%. “Inactivity may diminish life expectancy not only by predisposing to ageing-related diseases, but also because it may influence the ageing process itself,” the survey quotes a report in the January 29, 2008 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine.
Among males, it was 35.87% and females 31.48%. Almost 36.67% among non-vegetarians were found to have such problems, while only 28% among vegetarians had them. Lifestyle problems were found to affect senior citizens more, as 72.5% of the respondents said they had one thing or the other. In the 20-40 age group, the incidence was 9.76%, and it was 38.46% in the 40-60 age group.
“The problem with lifestyle diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, is that they are life-long and cannot be cured completely. They can only be controlled. Once you start taking medicines, you won’t be able to stop them,” Ms. Nandya pointed out. The survey recommended development and implementation of health promotion intervention programmes that would improve the general health of the population and reduce the risk factors.