Non-communicable diseases - top cause of death in Vietnam

Non-communicable diseases are the top cause of death in Vietnam, according to Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son.
Non-communicable diseases - top cause of death in Vietnam ảnh 1Doctors give blood pressure examination to elderly people in Ha Tinh province (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam records about 12.5 million people with high blood pressure, 3.5 million others with obesity, two million people suffering from cardiovascular diseases, and nearly 126,000 new cases of cancer each year.

Non-communicable diseases are the leading cause of death in Vietnam, as eight amongst 10 deaths are due to those diseases.

In 2016, the Southeast Asian country recorded an estimated 548,800 deaths, with those caused by non-communicable diseases accounting for 77 percent. In addition, 44 percent of victims of the diseases were people under 70 years old.

The information was unveiled by Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son at a national conference hosted by the Vietnam Medical Association (VMA) in Hanoi on October 25.

The health official explained that globalisation, urbanisation and environmental change are leading to an unhealthy lifestyle, including smoking, alcohol abuse, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. And those factors enhance the development of non-communicable diseases.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases at early phase, stroke and type 2 diabetes and more than 40 percent of cancer could be prevented by a healthy diet, regular exercise and non-smoking. In fact, causes of non-communicable diseases are growing in many countries and regions of the world, the Deputy Health Minister pointed out.

 As a result, Vietnam is carrying out a global action plan on non-communicable diseases. To ease the burden of those diseases, the Prime Minister approved a national strategy on non-communicable disease prevention and combat in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, President of the Vietnam Medical Association Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Thi Xuyen said that non-communicable diseases record the highest fatalities across the world with about 40 million deaths each year, accounting for 70-75 percent of total deaths worldwide. The figure is still on the rise, she stressed.

In Vietnam, those diseases also see the highest number of deaths, as there are seven victims out of 10 deaths, mostly suffering from cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases.

Each year, the country reports about 12.5 million people with high blood pressure, 3.5 million people with diabetes, two million others with cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases and nearly 126,000 new cases of cancer.

Non-communicable diseases result in 73 percent of deaths every year. In addition, they severely affect life quality of patients if detected and treated late.

“Vietnam has achieved nine out of 19 indexes assessing the progress and national capacity in preventing and fighting non-communicable diseases,” Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son said.

He noted that fighting those diseases had been made a main priority of the Vietnam Health Programme issued in February this year.

Themed “Managing Non-communicable Diseases among Health Care Facilities in Southeast Asia”, the conference saw leading experts delivering 18 scientific papers in six majors of cardiovascular problems, endocrine system and diabetes, respiration, cancer, mental illness and paediatrics.

Furthermore, there were four reports on experience in the management of non-communicable diseases of medical associations in other Southeast Asian nations of Thailand, Singapore, Myanmar and Indonesia.

At the event, delegates discussed measures to prevent causes of non-communicable diseases. Messages from this conference will be popularised on mass media to raise awareness of health education in the community in the time to come, including recommendations on lifestyle and management of those diseases at health care facilities at grassroots level.

To control and prevent non-communicable diseases, the Prime Minister decided to approve a national strategy on cancer, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and other non-communicable diseases in the 2015-2025 period./.


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