There are so many deadly diseases and disorders in the world we live in, it is almost impossible to keep track of them all.
We have all surely heard the media repeatedly talk about diseases such as Ebola, various cancers such as breast cancer, and the Zika Virus.
But what are some of the most deadly diseases and disorders known by the medical community today?
The following is a list of the top five deadliest diseases known to man:
- Coronary Artery Disease – This common and life threatening disease is also known as Ischemic Heart Disease. This is the deadliest disease in the world as well as in the United States, impacting more individuals than any other. This condition occurs when blood vessels that bring blood to the heart become narrowed, not allowing sufficient blood flow. Responsible for about 13.2 percent of deaths worldwide, the World Health Organization estimated that around 7.4 million people died from this disease in the year 2012. Some risk factors for heart disease are high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and smoking. This disease often has no symptoms so it is important to be checked for blood pressure and cholesterol levels, especially if you have a family history. Some symptoms that may present themselves are chest pain and even heart attack.
- Stroke – This condition occurs when arteries in the brain become blocked or leak out into the brain. The World Health Organization estimates that about 6.7 million individuals died from stroke in the year 2012. This represents about 11.9 percent of deaths worldwide. Stroke is also the leading cause of disability, and it is estimated that one person about every four minutes has a stroke in the United States. Risk factors for stroke are similar to those of heart disease. Symptoms of a stroke include sudden weakness or numbness generally on one side of the body or localized area of the body, sudden loss of vision, speech, coordination, or strength, loss of ability to process language, sudden loss of balance that may come with vomiting, nausea, fever, hiccups, or trouble swallowing, sudden and severe headache accompanied by loss of consciousness, and unexplained dizziness or falling.
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – This disease is more commonly referred to as COPD. This is a progressive and chronic lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe, leaving the body with not enough oxygen to properly function. The WHO estimates that COPD accounts for about 5 percent of deaths worldwide, a statistic that has remained fairly steady since the year 2000. The top cause of this disease is smoking tobacco. Symptoms of COPD include, but are not limited to, shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, excess mucus in lungs especially in the morning, frequent respiratory infections, and lack of energy.
- Lower Respiratory Infections – These conditions accounted for about 5.5 percent of deaths in the year 2000. That is about 3.1 million deaths worldwide. This group includes influenza (flu), pneumonia, and bronchitis. The main symptom of lower respiratory infections is a cough. Everyone should receive a flu shot to prevent influenza as well as general guidelines to prevent illness like regularly washing hands.
- Trachea, Bronchus, and Lung Cancers – All three of these diseases are various types of lung cancers. The main causes are cigarette smoke (both first and second hand) and environmental toxins. These diseases accounted for about 2.6 percent of deaths globally. This is an estimated 1.6 million deaths. Symptoms of lung cancer include cough (which may include blood), recurring lung infections, shortness of breath, and even loss of appetite or general fatigue.
There are several important lifestyle factors that can help you to prevent these deadly diseases and disorders. As we all hear often, diet and exercise are extremely important in maintaining overall health and wellness. Smoking is a leading cause of most of these diseases, so if you smoke you should quit now and if you don’t you should never start. You should also avoid areas where other individuals are smoking in confined spaces. Another important prevention method is to know your family history with these conditions and communicate that knowledge with your doctor. It is very important to know and understand the symptoms of these deadly diseases and to monitor any possible symptoms yourself as well as have a doctor monitor and track these symptoms. Last, but certainly not least, you should attempt to avoid stress in your life. Stress can be a leading factor to a decline in health and the immune system.