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Why am I susceptible to non-communicable diseases?

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ays | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 12, 2008 at 3:31 AM via web

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Why am I susceptible to non-communicable diseases?

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 25, 2008 at 10:34 AM (Answer #1)

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I can't speak to your personal medical history or susceptibility, but non-communicable diseases are non-infectious diseases.  This means that you can't "catch" the disease from someone like you would catch a cold.  Instead, these are diseases that result from two sources - genetic or lifestyle.  Often, it is a combination of the two.

One example would be diabetes.  Being susceptible to diabetes is somewhat based on the medical history of your family.  If your father has it, you are more likely to get it.   However, genetic causes do not guarantee that this disease will be acquired.  A person who eats a diet high in glucose, is obese, etc., is more likely to get this disease, with or without the genetic disposition.

Similar examples would also include high blood pressure, cancer, mental health problems.  In the definition of "lifestyle" factors, there can also be environmental factors.  A person can have no genetic susceptibility and can live a healthy life, but still be affected by factors in the environment.  For example, living in an area with poor air quality can make a person susceptible to asthma.

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mapriem | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted January 10, 2009 at 9:32 PM (Answer #2)

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Most non-communicable diseases are attributed to hereditary or environmental factors. Lifestyle in regard to unhealthy enviromental factors have been prov-en to be the major cause of death in the United States. Heart disease is the # 1 cause of death as Cancer is a close second. These are preventable in most cases by a healthy lifestyle of good nutrition, exercise, and stress management. Not smoking or quitting smoking is the most effective preventative measure in preventing these top two killers. Since these discoveries there has been an increase in many venues of the health and fitness industry.

As for hereditary factors, we are all subject to a number of risks for disease based on our family history.  This is why most doctors require a complete background of your family history in order to make recommendations, and lower ones risk for non-communicable diseases.

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