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Is Lifestyle the New Source of Diseases?

Many researchers have linked various lifestyle factors to chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. Such associations may be due to misclassification of these factors and the fact that these findings were obtained from a relatively healthy population. In addition, the study’s results were based on self-reported lifestyle data, which may have resulted in underestimating the actual associations. Nevertheless, the findings show that lifestyles play a significant role in developing many diseases, including cancer.

While there are many health benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle, only a small percentage of adults practice such habits. Few people are aware of the association between lifestyle and health. Yet, lifestyle is one of the primary causes of chronic diseases, especially heart disease and stroke. Interestingly, lifestyle is considered a deeply personal issue. Besides reflecting individual identities, people’s lifestyles also reflect socio-economic and group identities.

Today’s lifestyles are largely responsible for these problems. Physical inactivity, poor diet and tobacco use are major causes of death. Although infectious diseases remain a leading cause of death, chronic diseases caused by risk factors are rapidly rising as the leading causes of death in every region of the world. Fortunately, most of these diseases are preventable, which could save precious lives and health resources. It’s a matter of time before we begin to address the cause of chronic diseases in our society.

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