Essay discuss the impacts of one non communicable disease
Discuss the impacts of one non-communicable disease (15)
A non-communicable disease is one which cannot be transmitted from person to person. Coronary
heart disease (CHD) is one of the most common non-communicable diseases and since 1990 more
people around the world have died from it than any other cause. This can occur when the blood
vessels supplying the heart muscle become blocked, starving the heart of oxygen. There are many
consequences and impacts of CHD which are individual, economic and political.
A major impact is on the health of the individual. In the UK alone heart disease caused 120,530
deaths in 2002. Moreover, if one does not die from CHD they may indeed suffer Disability Adjusted
Life Years. The W.H.O state on their website that ‘one DALY is one lost year of ‘healthy living’ and it
is projected that DALYs will rise from 47million globally in 1990 to 82million in 2020. This means that
82million people will have a lower life expectancy and will have to make dramatic lifestyle changes
and many people will feel socially that they can no longer have a normal lifestyle as walking
becomes difficult and families grow concerned. Many people will also have to change careers as high
pressure, or physically demanding jobs are not suitable for a sufferer. Clearly CHD has a massive
impact on the health of the individual with regards to the global burden of the disease.
There are also many economic impacts of CHD; both to the individual and the government. With
regards to government spending, for example the W.H.O suggests that the direct costs of physical
inactivity accounted for an estimated $24billion in the US per year. Moreover, the cost of obesity for
the NHS has risen in recent years from £3billion in 2003 to an estimated £6billion in 2013. This has
led Lord McColl of Dulwich to suggest that obesity is bankrupting the NHS in recent media
interviews. As obesity is a prime risk factor for CHD this is clearly a worrying stat. The cost to the
individual is also important in countries where there is no national health service such as America.
Here, individuals must pay for their own drugs, and whilst the W.H.O claim that they only cost
approx. $14dollars a year to make, the profit margins are high in real terms for the drugs company
and the buyer.
The political impacts are also intertwined with these costs. As people are unable to work, and
government funding is being swallowed up by the NHS.This thenaffects the infrastructure of the
country such as education budgets and pensions. Furthermore, CHD forces the government to fund
campaigns such as the current ‘change 4 life’ campaign to eat healthily to prevent the chance of
Overall, the impacts are multi-faceted in that they affect individuals and the communities that they