Chronic diseases prevention
Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) account for more than 70% of deaths in Brazil. To address the rise of chronic conditions, we have to break the paradigm of care that is restricted to acute episodes of diseases only. The management of chronic diseases must consider the self-care culture, and strengthen health promotion and prevention actions through Primary Health Care that is stronger and valued by the Estate.
Risk factors for the development of chronic non-communicable diseases can be classified as modifiable and non-modifiable. Modifiable are associated with life habits, including factors such as obesity, type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, excessive alcohol use, smoking, sedentarism, and stress. Non-modifiable are associated with genetic inheritance, gender, ethnicity, and age.
It is evident that efforts in the health promotion scope must be targeted to modifiable factors since it is possible to observe that most of them are associated with behavioral issues.
In cases of chronic non-communicable diseases associated with modifiable risk factors, nutrition should be combined to have a shift in incidence and severity in addition to changing habits. Consumption of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, dietary fiber, antioxidants, and other substances is important to prevent and control cardiovascular diseases, as emphasized by the American Heart Association.
It is important to highlight that during pregnancy, nutritional aspects play a key role in the mother’s and baby’s health. A healthy diet reduces the risks of the baby being born with a disease or of developing several diseases throughout life, such as obesity, diabetes, and food allergies, in addition to ensuring and guaranteeing the nutrients needed for breastfeeding.