Poor nutrition, pollution and other sources of chronic disease have been increasing for 30 years, plus a new virus: the conditions of a “deadly storm” have occurred to cause the one million deaths from coronavirus, deplores a report published on Friday 16 October from The Lancet magazine. “The interaction of Covid-19 with the continuous global increase, in the last thirty years, of chronic diseases and their risk factors, including obesity, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels, ed) and air pollution , created the conditions for a storm, fueling the death toll of Covid-19 », judges the prestigious British medical journal in a press release.
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‘Noncommunicable diseases have played a role so far in the million deaths caused by Covid-19, and will continue to determine the general state of health in every country even when the pandemic has subsided ”, commented the editor-in-chief of“ The Lancet ”, Richard Horton. The publication regularly warns of the scourge of non-communicable diseases linked to living conditions (obesity, diabetes, tobacco, alcohol, etc.). In this new report, the review makes the link with Covid-19. According to the prestigious medical journal, the world is facing not only a pandemic, but a “syndemia”, that is, the conjunction of various health emergencies. “Many risk factors and non-communicable diseases studied in this report are associated with an increased risk of severe Covid-19, or even death,” judges The Lancet. Urgent action is needed, he continues, “urgent action to tackle the syndemic of chronic diseases, social inequalities and Covid-19, namely the interaction of various epidemics that exacerbate the health burden of the populations already affected, and make them even more vulnerable »Warns the magazine.
In Europe, according to «The Lancet», life expectancy in good health it has increased steadily over the past 30 years, but less than life expectancy at birth, which means that people are living longer in poor health. According to the report, in the Old Continent, non-communicable diseases are responsible for “more than 80%” of premature deaths and deterioration in health (measured in number of years lost). In 2019, the main risk factors in Europe were hypertension (linked to around 787,000 deaths), tobacco (697,000), poor diet (546,000), high blood sugar (540,000) and obesity (406,000). The Lancet calls for “significant efforts” to reduce these risks through proactive public health policies, taking the example of those conducted against tobacco. “Exposure to tobacco has decreased by nearly 10% worldwide since 2010, although it remains the leading cause of death in many rich countries,” the magazine states.