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Lifestyle diseases on the rise among Filipinos

MANILA, Nov. – One out of every four Filipino adults (25.3 percent) is suffering from hypertension, a risk factor for the dreaded cardiovascular disease, according to the recent results of a nationwide government nutrition survey.

The results of the National Nutrition and Health Survey (NNHeS II) conducted by the Food and Nutrition and Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) shows that more Filipinos have hypertension, high fasting blood sugar, high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

These indicators, according to FNRI-DOST, could raise the chances of the deadly cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and other lifestyle-related diseases.

The survey likewise showed that 11 in every 100 (10.8 percent) have pre-hypertension or a blood pressure reading at the range of 130-139/85-89 millimeter mercury (mmHg). High blood pressure increases with the age from 40 to 49 years old.

It also indicated that the prevalence of high fasting blood sugar, (FBS), an indicator of diabetes mellitus, is five in every 100 Filipinos.

Moreover, the survey showed that three in every 100 Filipinos have impaired fasting glucose, a condition that can progress to diabetes mellitus, if not prevented.

The survey added that one in every 10 (10.2 percent) of Filipino adults has high total cholesterol level, while 21 in every 100 (21.2 percent) are borderline high.

With these findings, the Philippine government is now intensively campaigning for healthy lifestyle to prevent the risk factors for these deadly diseases.

“The healthy lifestyle campaign promotes transformation of various settings, such as healthy workplace, health-eating place, healthy communities and health schools, among others,” FNRI-DOST said in a statement.

The agency likewise advised Filipinos to eat a variety of foods everyday, consume more fruits and vegetables, root crops and legumes, as these are rich sources of fiber that help lower cholesterol level and prolong the response time of our body to blood glucose levels, and limiting the intake of salty foods to help prevent hypertension.

With the rise of these lifestyle diseases in the country, the World Health Organization (WHO) has earlier urged Filipinos to practice a healthy lifestyle as the number of people suffering from cardiovascular diseases continues to escalate.

WHO added that about 17 million Filipinos worldwide die annually due to cardiovascular disease. In the Philippines, heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death with 120,000 Filipinos dying each year because of these lifestyle diseases.

WHO underscores the dominant risk factors for the development of lifestyle diseases such as smoking, physical inactivity, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity or overweight, and diabetes.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) said, cardiovascular diseases was the top cause of mortality in the country where 30 percent of deaths in the Philippines are from this disease. Of these, 40 percent occurred in women. (PNA)

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