Materia Medica Malaysiana

July 30, 2007

Non-communicable diseases affect 11.6m

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:47 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: Seven out of 10 Malaysian adults suffer from at least one non-communicable disease like diabetes, hypertension or cancer.
Latest Health Ministry statistics show that 11.6 million of the 16 million adults nationwide are sick with an NCD.
And by all predictions, the numbers are going to get worse.
The ministry is predicting that the number of Malaysians with NCD is expected to increase to 13 million by 2015.
Health Ministry Deputy Disease Control Director (NCD) Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar blam-ed the situation on the lifestyle of Malaysians, which included higher use of tobacco, unhealthy diets and inactivity.
He said changes in the economic, social and demographic aspects of Malaysian life had led to a rise in NCD.
Dr Zainal said NCDs accounted for 51 per cent of all deaths in the country.
The ministry is at odds with the worsening situation given the fact that the remedy is quite simple, involving what some would call common sense.
“The majority of NCDs are actually preventable if people adhere to simple habits like a healthy lifestyle with good and balanced eating,” he said.
Dr Zainal said the ministry was doing its best to educate Malaysians on how they could check the problem before it worsened and burdened the nation’s financial and human capital resources even further.
He suggested a diet that was low in fats and high in fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts.
“It is also important to limit the intake of sugar and salt and reduce weight.”
Even a 4.5kg reduction in weight can have a significant effect on hypertension.
He said blood pressure can also be lowered with moderately intense physical activity such as 30 to 45 minutes of brisk walking.

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