The new trend in preventing and reversing diseases
We are facing a global epidemic of non-communicable diseases such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and hypertension. These diseases are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. The Global Burden of Disease Study (2010) has highlighted the epidemiologicalshift in morbidity and mortality from infection and malnutrition to non-communicable diseases. Healthcare expenditure attributed to these diseases have increased tremendously in recent years and is no longer sustainable. Overwhelming evidence indicates that poor lifestyle choices that include poor nutrition, lack of exercise, stress, alcohol abuse, smoking, lack of sleep and poor social connectivity are key factors in the pathogenesis of non-communicable diseases. However evidence suggests that 80% of these chronic diseases can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle that encompasses healthy nutrition, physical exercise, stress management, adequate sleep, good social connection, tobacco cessation and avoidance of substance abuse.
Lifestyle Medicine is an emerging discipline in healthcare that has the potential to address the malady plaguing mankind. It is an evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic intervention that aims to prevent, treat, and, oftentimes, reverse chronic disease by addressing the underlying causes. Its six core pillars are healthy diet, physical activity, avoidance of tobacco and excess alcohol, adequate sleep, stress management and social connectivity. Addressing lifestyle factors has the potential to increase the quality of life and longevity in the individual and reduce healthcare expenditure.
Lifestyle medicine interventions include health risk assessment, health behavior coaching and lifestyle modification. Lifestyle medicine is prescribed alongside other modalities of treatment and it is hoped that evidence based lifestyle medicine interventions will be offered as the primary mode in preventing chronic diseases. After all lifestyle intervention is one of the most potent interventions.
Adding years to life and life to years
Founding Director Yale University’s Yale- Griffin Prevention Research Centre