Urging for efforts to be made by the government and the public at large, doctors urge for awareness on responsible lifestyle habits. “Chronic diseases are long-term health problems that can last for years, and often, a lifetime. It puts constraints on an individual’s way of living. It forces them to live with restrictions, high doses of medications over a long period of time.
It also results in the need to visit the doctors on a regular basis,” said a Government Hospital doctor. The study conducted by IIT found that morbidity due to chronic ailments increased with age, especially after the age of 45.
Among the elderly in the age groups of 60 to 69 years and 70 years and above, more than one third of the population (406 and 354 per 1,000 persons respectively), reported suffering from chronic ailments.
“As an individual gets older, his body tends to weaken, slowly causing the organs to fail. However, today, this factor is seen among the younger generation too. Obesity, which now starts young, is very prevalent in the country. It is one of the main lifestyle diseases that is seen in the country,” said Dr Mohan, a geriatric surgeon.
Patients with chronic diseases must seek professional help, especially if they show signs of depression. It is estimated that 75 per cent of those living with chronic diseases are depressed,” the GH doctor added.
“The government is only stressing on ways to cure chronic diseases. However, the need of the hour is to focus on prevention,” said Diabetologist Dr Aravindan. “Lack of responsibility on behalf of every individual in maintaining responsible lifestyle habits is the main cause for such diseases, especially obesity,” he added.