Discuss the impact of a disease of affluence

Discuss the impact of a disease of affluence

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  • Created on: 02-01-11 18:31
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Discuss the impact of one disease of affluence on health, economy development and
A disease of affluence is caused by having a large disposable income spending money on
alcohol, tobacco and/or fatty foods. It can also be affected by a change in lifestyle, for
example by doing less exercise. An example of a disease of affluence is Cardiovascular
Disease (CVD).
Since 1990 more people have died from Cardiovascular Diseases than any other cause,
there are over 208,000 deaths per year in the UK. This number is in fact decreasing in
MEDCs due to improved prevention and a trend in lower use of alcohol and tobacco (apart
from in Russia where vodka is manufactured and so is increasingly drunk). But trends in
LEDCs show that the levels of CVD is increased. It is projected that the amount of DALYs
will increase from about 47million to 92million. When people suffer from this disease they
are unable to do any exercise and so become obese.
The economy suffers because as more people have time off work less production is carried
out in businesses throughout the country. And many businesses still have to pay their
workers sick pay as they are absent. It also means that the government must spent a lot of
money on healthcare. The direct costs of physical inactivity accounted for an estimated US
$24million in health care cost in 1994. However, for certain companies like those which sell
Cholesterol­reducers would have benefited as they were the top selling medications in
Finally lifestyle, close family of those who suffer from CVD must take time off work to look
after the invidual and then the actual sufferers must take time off work to reduce stress on
the heart. Families often become stressed as their morale decreases which can affect the
work and other activities which they would normally enjoy. It's likely that those who suffer
from CVD will become limited to what exercise they're able to do. They may not be able to
take part in sport etc which can trigger other illnesses causing more problems for their


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