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Non-communicable diseases: 4. What are the human and financial costs of non-communicable diseases?

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Sub-index of notes on non-communicable diseases

(4) What are the human and financial costs of non-communicable diseases?

Millions of people die around the world every year from non-communicable diseases.

Non-communicable diseases decrease quality of life and life expectancy.

But, it isn't just the sufferers who are affected, but friends and family too.

There will be emotional strains and possibly financial strain too if the affected person is unable to work, reducing the family income. Homes may need to adapted if mobility is a problem.

There is also the extra burden and costs to health services - costs of providing the medical care and research into treating non-communicable medical conditions.

There are other costs too - if still in employment but unable to work properly for longer periods of time - the employer and ultimately the country has to bear the cost of reduced productivity in the workforce as a whole.

Millions of 'working days' are lost as a result of people with non-communicable diseases - and, as we have discussed, many of them are preventable, or there effects reduced, by thinking carefully and acting to adopt a more healthy lifestyle.

Non-communicable diseases are most common in the poorest areas, even in a rich developed country. There is a higher incidence of illness, ill-health in general, in poorer families

Here you find the greater levels of excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, poorer diet and smoking in the population. Not surprising in these same areas you find higher incidences of non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular diseases, liver disease or lung conditions.

This situation puts extra pressure on local health services.

Keywords, phrases and learning objectives for this part on the human and financial costs of non-communicable diseases

Be able to describe and discuss some of the human and financial costs of non-communicable diseases e.g. decrease in quality of life, illness affects families, noting the higher incidence of illness in poorer families, and the resulting greater pressure on local health services.



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