The, Natural Aging And Genetics

2186 WordsNov 1, 20169 Pages
Introduction It is widely known that natural aging and genetics can determine our health. However, in 2012, an assessment by the World Health Organisation (WHO) (2016), estimated that, 24% of the global disease burden and 23% of all deaths were directly attributable to environmental factors. Figure 1., demonstrates a model developed by the NHS Health department agency (2002), showing how a variety of exogenous stressors may act through the environment to impact our lives. Figure 1. Scope of Environmental Health Services (NHS Health Development Agency, 2002) In 2002, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) was identified as the 5th leading cause of death worldwide, and it is forecast to become the 3rd leading cause of death by 2030 (WHO, 2016). COPD is an umbrella term used to describe a group of irreversible but treatable lung diseases including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The disease, which primarily affects the respiratory system, is characterised by chronic and progressive airflow limitation due to inflammation of the airways and lungs caused by inhalation of harmful particles or gasses. Characteristic symptoms of COPD include increased breathlessness, cough, and sputum production. COPD is a non-communicable disease and is largely preventable. Tobacco smoking was first identified as a major causative risk factor for the development of COPD by the findings of Fletcher and Peto’s 8-year prospective study of 792 men in London (Fletcher and Peto, 1977).
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