Bandar Seri Begawan - Cancer, heart diseases and diabetes mellitus were the three top leading causes of deaths in Brunei Darussalam last year, with the overall total number of deaths amounting to 1,235 people.
Other causes of deaths included cerebrovascular diseases, bronchitis, chronic and unspecified emphysema and asthma, hypertensive diseases, transport accidents, congenital malformation, deformation and chromosomal abnormalities, septicaema as well as certain conditions originating in the perinatal period.
Compared to 1967, the top three causes were pneumonia, tuberclosis and cancel; with the total deaths amounting to 656.
This was yesterday pointed out by Dr Hjh Norhayati Hj Md Kassim, Senior Medical Officer (Public Health) at the Health Promotion Centre, in her working paper entitled 'Health status of our nation: Are we healthy' as she deliberated the changes over the last five decades at the Knowledge Convention Seminar and Workshop.
In 1967, other causes of deaths included arteriosclerotic degenerative heart diseases, gastritis, entritis and colitis, vascular lesions affecting CNS, nephritis and nephrosis, bronchitis, congenital malformations and cirrhosis of liver.
The total, number of cancer deaths was 252 in 2010 - mostly tracheal, bronchus and lung cancer.
Mortality due to cardiovascular diseases in 2010 stood at 335 people. The obesity and overweight levels in the Sultanate reached 27 per cent and 33 per cent respectively in 2011.
She also highlighted the causation pathway for chronic diseases stressing on underlying determinants (such as globalisation, urbanisation, population ageing and social determinants); common risk factors (such as unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco and alcohol use, air pollution, age and heredity); intermediate risk factors and diseases (such as raised blood sugar level, raised blood pressure, abnormal blood lipids, overweight and obesity and abnormal lung function).
A study conducted among Year 1, 4, 6 and 8 students between 2008 and 2010 found that the number of overweight children in 2008 stood at 13.3 per cent, a figure that jumped to 14.8 per cent by 2010. Meanwhile, the obesity rate reached 12.3 per cent in 2008, and 13.5% in 2010.
The effects of obesity among children include Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, liver disease, sleep apnoea, asthma, cholestitis, pancreatitis, slipped capital femoral epiphysis and the risk of being obese when reaching adult stage.
The control and preventive measures for non-communicable diseases include practicing the consumption of healthy and balanced food, physical exercise and quitting smoking.
Meanwhile, Dr Alice Yong, Endochrinology Consultant at RIPAS Hospital, discussed 'Whether obesity could be prevented.'
She explained, the reasons for the rise in obesity included cultural changes, modernisation, lack of physical activities, changes in nutrition, and surge in socio-economic status.
She also stressed on the benefits of reducing weight, such as for health, for self-appearance, to control emotion and become more confident, for our social life and to tackle personal problems.
A 10 per cent reduction in body weight could reduce the risk of high blood pressure, control glucose level, cholesterol and premature deaths.
Obesity can be prevented by practicing a healthy lifestyle, engaging in physical exercise and thinking positively.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin