Death and disability: 10 risk factors
Published on: Sunday, January 22, 2017
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Kota Kinabalu: There are 10 risk factors that drive the most death and disability combined, a recent Seminar on "From the Heart Diseases to Parkinson's…" was told.Dr Jonathan Khor, who revealed this, said the risk factors are poor diet, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, obesity, high cholesterol, tobacco smoke, alcohol and drug use, air pollution, occupational risks and low physical activity.

In his paper on "Breakthroughs in Lifestyle Disease Management", Dr Khor, now a product specialist with Coco Tech Sdn Bhd, highlighted what causes the most deaths in 2005 and 10 years later in 2015.

"A quick look at the statistics shows that the ranking for nine diseases/road injuries remained unchanged in 2015.

These are in the order of precedence – ischaemic heart disease, lower respiratory infection, cerebrovascular disease, road injuries, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease such as chronic bronchitis), lung cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's Disease and chronic kidney disease.

"HIV/AIDS which was the 10th cause of death in 2005 dropped to the 12th place in 2015.

In the case of colorectal cancer, it rose from the 12th position in 2005 to be the 10th cause of death in 2015," he said.

On proportional mortality of the total deaths of 146,000 (involving all ages and both sexes), Dr Khor said non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are estimated to account for 73pc of total deaths.

The breakdown is as follows: cardiovascular diseases (36pc), cancers (15pc), chronic respiratory diseases (7pc), diabetes (3pc) and other NCDs (12pc).

According to him, cardiovascular disease (or heart disease) is the top killer in Malaysia, responsible for one quarter of all hospital deaths.

"The average age of Malaysians suffering a heart attack is 58.5 years old. Males comprise nearly four in five (78.8pc) of hospital admissions for heart attacks. Around one in four heart attack patients are below 50 years old.

Nearly half of heart attack patients (45pc) have three or more cardiovascular risk factors, that is, obesity (77pc), high blood pressure (65pc), diabetes (46pc), abnormal cholesterol levels (37pc) and smokers (38pc)," he said.

Moving on to cancer in Malaysia, Dr Khor disclosed that 100,000 people in the country are living with cancer.

"One in four will develop cancer by 75 years old.

The top five cancers are breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, cervical cancer and pharyngeal cancer.

When we talk about cancer by ethnicity, it is predominant among Chinese compared to Malay and Indian.

One in 19 women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime," he pointed out.

The seminar heard that the 10 most frequent cancers in males in Malaysia are trachea, bronchus, lung; colorectal; nasopharynx; prostate; liver; lymphoma, leukaemia; stomach; bladder; and brain, nervous system.

In Malaysian females, the 10 most frequent cancers are breast; colorectal; cervix uteri; ovary; bronchus, lung; corpus uteri; leukaemia; lymphoma; thyroid; and stomach.

By virtue of his medical background, Dr Khor has committed himself to researching into the area of modern-day diseases, especially neurodegenerative diseases.

He shared Coco Tech's breakthrough findings on virgin coconut oil (VCO) in the prevention and healing of diseases that attack our brain health such as Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease.

"Coco Tech's mission is to provide natural solutions to the management of neurodegenerative diseases, and alternatives to prescription drugs," he said.

Dr Khor said VCO is hailed as a miracle oil as it has been proven through years of research to hold several curative properties.

Among the benefits of VCO are its ability to improve the body's immune system, promote heart health, support the thyroid system, protect the body from cell-damaging free radicals, to promote brain health, and improve skin and hair.


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