Cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases are the top four noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Together, they contribute to the largest morbidity and mortality rates worldwide (World Health Organization, 2011). Once considered “diseases of affluence,” NCDs are now epidemic in developing countries (World Health Organization, 2011). The determinants of an NCD are complex as multiple risk factors contribute to the development of an NCD. Traditionally, these risk factors are categorized as nonmodifiable and modifiable. Nonmodifiable risk factors are age, sex, and genetic makeup. In contrast, modifiable risk factors are poor diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use, and harmful alcohol use—the health habits. These health habits are powerfully influenced by social networks and social environment—the social determinants.
Public health programs and health care delivery should be integrated into policy to fully address the burden of NCDs. However, policy alone is not enough unless it is implemented effectively. There must be a long-term and continuing collaboration among multiple stakeholders (e.g., agencies, foundations, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector). Subsequent steps may require implementation of best buys—investments in innovative preventive health strategies, improvements in surveillance, agreement on targets, and the creation of realistic timelines.
For this Discussion, review the week’s Learning Resources. Select one of the NCDs you read about in the Learning Resources on which to base your discussion. Then, in the Walden Library or the Internet, search for information on this NCD in a country other than yours. Think about initiatives that might reduce the burden of this disease.
With these thoughts in mind:
Post a brief description of the NCD that you selected and include the descriptive epidemiology of the disease in a country different from your own. Explain how the modifiable risk factors for the NCD differ between the country you selected and the country you live in. Based on the risk factors, explain an initiative that you might advocate to reduce the burden of the disease in the country you selected. Support your post using scholarly sources.
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