Among the multitudes of problems and diseases that have been eradicated by the advancements of humanity, there are still some that take the lives of human by the scores even now. Though most of these are still to be cured and huge amount of money and research is being done on the same but on the other hand many of these are also an adverse side-effect to the increasingly damaging lifestyles that the people of the world with a majority of them living in the cities now follows thus leading them to an accelerated path to many of these life-threatening diseases which can be very easily rectified or mitigated.
In this article, I would talk about the potential harm and threat the disease of the cardiovascular arrest poses to many of the countries to the level that it has reached the intensity of an epidemic. Primarily we would focus on the developing countries specifically the South Eastern ones like India which is the fastest growing democracy ,and would like to get a small understanding of the social cost and the implication that such a widespread disease may reek on the economy of a country and try to give some possible recommendation that may go a long way to heal the present state.
Though the chances as well the number of cases of cardiovascular diseases in the western and developed countries have decreased significantly due to much better health facilities and strong health programmes barring some exceptions like that of eastern Europe, but the biggest threat that these diseases pose is to the developing countries (Reddy Srinath. (2015)). With an average number of cases being around 5.5 million deaths through cardiovascular disease in the year of 1990 in India, it has only increased. The alarming factor stems from the fact that with a heavily increased life expectancy in these countries and thus an augmentation in the ranks of the middle-aged and old men with the increasingly stressful life being spent by the citizens of a country almost 70% of whom live in the cities this is becoming an even bigger epidemic. The developing countries are also facing a heavier brunt in the number of younger populations that are being afflicted by this disease thus not only eating away a the workforce but also creating culture or work and social living environment that is not conducive for a healthy living.
If we look a bit deeper into the problems and why this cardiovascular disease is affecting the masses nowadays. It is not a type of disease that you can contract from another person. On the other hand, as is often seen in the US it is comprised of a combination of 3 factors obesity. High blood pressure and cholesterol , all of which is avoidable (Hill Joseph (2016)). The majority of the 2 million deaths that happened in the US is a result of an increase of any one of the above-mentioned factors to a level that was detrimental for the person with most of the above stemming from an unhealthy lifestyle.
The burden of such a disease in a developing country like India is immense. With a heavy number of the population in the middle income group and a lack of preventive culture to do regular checkups the result of a sudden and disastrous stroke or attack to an individual not only results in prolonged hospital hours even ranging to months and years but also costly operations that cripple a family and in a macro image the society, and if the affected is a youth it completely removes the person from the workforce thus resulting in a detrimental effect on the country as a whole.
However, in continuation of the above statements, it is clearly seen that an unhealthy lifestyle is the main factor that affects the increasing phenomenon of cardiovascular diseases, one of the main factors being fast food. In India like in many other developing countries with an exponential jump in the income levels the amount of chains of fast food has also increased in leaps and bounds resulting in a diet which is low in essential nutrients and high in fat. It has been proved multiple times in studies and surveys that places which are nearer to the fast food chains have a higher concentration of people suffering from cardiovascular diseases that the ones that are farther away from it, thus resulting in the steadily increasing cases in the developing countries (Cardio Smart (2016)).
The economic cost of trying to prevent such disease which primarily depends on the restrictions posed are immense. Though a huge number of campaigns and free checkups are often arranged by government in the countries the number of restrictions or affect it has in changing the lifestyle and eating habits of the people and primarily of the youth is quite negligible thus leading to a drain in both sides. Now only this also leads to multiple side diseases like oral problems, laziness, inability to digest and paralysis to name a few (Bains Amardeep (2000)).
Though it is majorly on the people to make sure that the diet and lifestyle of them and their children should reflect a healthy one that would keep such diseases at bay there is some recommendation that the government can do in order to stop this epidemic.
Warning messages, as well as the calory content on every fast food – This, will work in the similar lines as the cigarette where every fast food will be tagged with the health hazard that they contain as well as the calory content of it
Higher Taxes – In the similar lines of nicotine a higher tax can be levied on the fast food chains and lower on the healthy food franchises thus tilting the balances towards the later and reduce the inflow of people in the fast food chains
Promote healthy living – Multiple campaigns, as well as promotional shows guiding the people to a healthier lifestyle, should be implemented by the government, to make sure the hazards and the precautions of such an issue reach to the furthest corner of the country.
Though it will take a long time, a combined effect from the government and the people might just be enough to put a halt to this epidemic and thus may help us to eradicate a disease that still claims millions of lives.
Reddy Srinath. (2015). “Emerging Epidemic in Cardiovascular Diseases in Developing Countries”
Hill Joseph (2016). “Why it’s time to care about the heart disease epidemic.”
Cardio Smart (2016). “Living Near Fast Food is Associated with Greater Risk for Heart Disease”
Bains Amardeep (2000). “Junk food and heart disease: the missing tooth.”
Dey Sushmi (2018). “Heart disease deaths rise in India by 34% in 26 years.”
Graziano Thomas (2010). “Growing Epidemic of Coronary Heart Disease in Low- and Middle-Income Countries”
Greg Martin (2010). “State Of Global Health”