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Lifestyle medicine could well be the foundation to healthcare

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 — Lifestyle Medicine (LM) which has the potential to reduce mortality and morbidity associated with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) could well be the foundation for healthcare in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

The global pandemic has shown infectious diseases against the backdrop of NCDs can increase the risk of mortality and morbidity and therefore adopting lifestyle changes can enhance the immune system and promote mental wellbeing.

“Currently, evidence have suggested that poor lifestyle choices are key factors in the pathogenesis of NCDs.

“However, evidence also suggests that 80 per cent of these chronic diseases can be prevented by adopting the six core pillars of Lifestyle Medicine – a healthy lifestyle that encompasses healthy nutrition, physical exercise, stress management, adequate sleep, good social connection, tobacco cessation and avoidance of substance abuse.

“Thus, LM plays a significant role in preventing, reversing or managing NCDs and this modality addresses the root cause of lifestyle diseases and teaches people how to change the unhealthy lifestyle,” Malaysian Society of Lifestyle Medicine (MSLM) founder and president Dr Sivaneswaran Poobalasingam told Bernama in an exclusive interview here today.

LM is an emerging discipline in healthcare that has the potential to address the malady plaguing mankind besides being an evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic intervention that aims to prevent, treat and reverse chronic disease by addressing the underlying causes.

The medical doctor said lifestyle intervention is needed taking into account the prevalent of NCDs mainly cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes being the most common cause of death and disability, accounting for 70 per cent of all deaths worldwide.

“Research has shown that lifestyle intervention reduces the progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes to almost by 58 per cent, “ he said, adding that addressing lifestyle factors has the potential to increase the quality of life and longevity in the individual and reduce healthcare expenditure.

Meanwhile, Dr Sivaneswaran said the inaugural Malaysian Lifestyle Medicine Conference themed ‘Lifestyle Medicine: Redefining Healthcare’ will be held virtually from Dec 4-5, with the participation of 18 speakers from five countries.

Among the topics which will be discussed are: Lifestyle as Medicine From Being Different To Making A Difference; Behaviour Change and Health Coaching to Improve Health Outcomes; Lifestyle Medicine Education and Adding meaning to Lifestyle Medicine.

Registration for the conference can be made through https://lifestylemedicinemalaysia.org or email: info@lifestylemedicinemalaysia.org.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

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