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   WHY IS SELF-CARE ESSENTIAL TODAY?

Lifestyle diseases – heart attack and stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes – represent 63% of all annual deaths worldwide, causing an estimated 36 million deaths every year out of the global total of 57 million (WHO 2010). In industrialised countries this figure is much higher – 88% of deaths in the case of the U.K., for example (see: http://www.who.int/nmh/countries/en/)
And the trend is getting worse with deaths from lifestyle diseases projected to increase by 15% globally to 2020.
The United Nations in 2011 held meetings in Moscow and in New York to discuss the challenge of lifestyle diseases. Normally the responsibility of the World Health Organisation, this was only the second time in history that a high-level UN meeting was dedicated to a health topic, the first being HIV/AIDS in 2001. One driver for the U.N. engagement was that the economic impact of lifestyle diseases is so great that this demands a broader-than-health approach.
Total global health expenditure amounts to about 10% of global GDP (World Bank), and this would increase unsustainably if the lifestyle disease epidemic proceeds at current rates. The challenge is not just millions of premature deaths, but also deaths of people at their prime in economic terms (prior to age 60). Half of those who die of lifestyle diseases are in the prime, representing a huge financial cost to society in lost productivity. The World Economic Forum and Harvard Medical School published a report on the Global Economic Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases in 2011. They found that over the next 20 years NCDs would cost more than $30 trillion, representing 48% of the world’s total GDP in 2010, and pushing millions of people below the poverty line.
The U.N. meeting recognised that focusing solely on treating lifestyle diseases would not be a sufficient or desirable approach. Lifestyle diseases are in fact preventable – up to 80% of heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes, and over a third of cancers could be prevented by eliminating shared risk factors, particularly tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and the harmful use of alcohol.
The ‘Political declaration of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases,’ September 2011 fully recognises the necessity for prevention, e.g. in article 34: “Recognize that prevention must be the cornerstone of the global response to non-communicable diseases.”
In May 2013 the World Health Assembly endorsed the WHO Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020. The Global Action Plan provides countries, international partners and the WHO with a road map and menu of policy options to tackle NCDs. Nine global targets have been set for 2025, including an overall reduction of 25% in the mortality from NCDs. Specific targets include a 10% reduction in prevalence of insufficient physical activity, a 30% reduction of salt intake and of tobacco use, and a halt in the rise of obesity. These challenging targets can only be met through the adoption by people of healthier lifestyles – in other words, through self-care. Evidently, self-care is essential!

如今为何自我保健至关重要?
生活方式疾病,如心脏病、中风、癌症、慢性呼吸道疾病和糖尿病等疾病造成的死亡,占世界每年总死亡人数的63% ,全球每年5700万(世界卫生组织 2010)死亡人口中约3600万死于生活方式病。该死亡率在发达国家更高,如英国生活方式病的致死率则高达88% (详见:http://www.who.int/nmh/countries/en/)。
预计到2020年,生活方式病造成的死亡率将增长15%。
2011年,联合国在莫斯科和纽约分别召开会议讨论了生活方式疾病所带来的挑战。虽然召开会议对世界卫生组织来说是其职责所在,但对于联合国来说,这是历史上仅有的第二次将健康作为会议议题的高级别联合国大会,而第一次则是以艾滋病为议题召开于2001年。联合国之所以召开该会议,是因为生活方式疾病给经济带来了巨大影响以至于需要一种医疗系统以外的方式。
全球公共医疗支出总额约占全球GDP的10%(世界银行数据),如果未来生活方式疾病肆虐的程度超过当前水平的话,该数据将大幅度上涨。当前的挑战不是数百万人过早死亡,而是这些死亡的人中大多数死于他们人生最重要的黄金期(60岁以前)。因生活方式病死亡的人口中,一半的人死于他们的黄金期,这代表着社会庞大的财政损失和生产力损失。世界经济论坛和哈佛医学院在2011年联合发表了一份名为《非传染性疾病所带来的世界经济负担》的报告。报告指出,未来20年非传染性疾病预计将造成30万亿美元的成本损失,相当于2010年全球GDP总值的48%,同时数百万的人口也将生活于贫困线以下。
联合国会议认识到仅仅将重心放在治疗生活方式疾病上是远远不够的,也不是一个充分、理想的方法。因为生活方式疾病实际上是可以预防的,80%的心脏病、 中风、2型糖尿病和超过三分之一的癌症都是可以通过减少健康风险,特别是减

 


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