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Impact of Diseases on Population Health

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Health
Wordcount: 3497 words Published: 29th Jul 2021

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Each and every year there are many chronic or non-infectious as well as infectious diseases that claim the lives of a great number of people all over the world (Vries, Cohen & Rood, 1990). In America, this number is more than one and a half million. Every seven out of ten deaths occur in America due to such diseases and thus it is but more than important to prevent them in one way or the other. There are many rules, regulations and policies made each and every year in order to overcome these diseases but they are not enough as long as they are not properly executed in real life. Moreover, a lot of awareness needs to be brought in the mind of the general population so that they can take a greater level of precaution and thereby prevent the diseases from happening or nipping them in the bud at a very early stage (Kradin, 2010). Government also has a major role to play in this context as different campaigns can be done in different populations to highlight the diseases and their effects and thereby grow the eagerness in them to take precaution before as well as after the disease. The burden of non-infectious diseases is preventable to a great extent. This is because of the fact that non-infectious diseases like that of heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes occur in individuals as a reflection of how they lead their lives or how they respond to the physical as well as social environments that they work under. With the advancement of the technological as well as industrial aspects, people have had much less need to be dependent on their own physical activities as most of the work are done by the everyday machines that surround us. Intake of unhealthy meals is also a reason for the occurrence of these kinds of diseases. Physical inactivity, use of tobacco, consumption of alcohol in an unhealthy manner and poor nutrition are the main reason why an individual become the victim of heart diseases, stroke, asthma, diabetes, arthritis and other such non-communicable or non-infectious diseases (Buchan & Cathrall, 1797). Thus it can be said that the choice of a poor or unhealthy lifestyle is the main reason why these kinds of diseases happen to people. Thus if a proper and appropriate awareness is developed in the population about the way in which a healthy lifestyle can be lead, these diseases can be controlled to a great extent. Thus along with the other social, political factors that matter in this context, the individual’s own consciousness regarding himself and the people around him or her is also very much required (Bunch, 1997).

Different Diseases & their Impact on Health Status of Population

Each and every population is in one way or the other affected by a wide range of diseases. The following list gives a brief description of the different kinds of diseases that the human population has to deal with and how they are intensely affected by them.


Diabetes mellitus or better known as diabetes is the disease where the individual is affected with high blood sugar level. The common symptoms of this disease are that of urination in a very frequent manner, increase in the thirst of the person and also a great increase in the hunger of the person (Stehouwer & Schaper, 2009). In case of diabetes too, the factors of overweight and physical inactivity play a major role in developing risk factors in the individuals for this particular disease. Thus it can be prevented by taking a little care.

Source: Stehouwer & Schaper, 2009.

The conversion of sugar into energy is very essential in our body and that is done by the hormone insulin which converts glucose into energy. When sufficient amount of insulin in not produced in our body, the level of glucose rises in the body and hence, it shows abnormality in the daily proceeding in that particular human being and causes diabetes. The complications of diabetes involves feeling tired, feeling constantly thirsty, passing urine frequently, slow healing infections, blurred vision, itching in the skin or genital area, tingling and numbness in the feet or in the hands, unexplained weakness and fatigue, weight loss, vomiting and nausea. There are mainly two types of diabetes occurring in the society and they are Type 1 or insulin dependent diabetes that is also called Juvenile Diabetes and Type 2 or non insulin dependent diabetes that is also called Adult onset diabetes (Jackman, et. al., 2015).

Source: Buschard, 2011.

The Type 1 diabetes usually causes to children like young adults and teenagers and they require regular injections of insulin. The Type 2 diabetes usually affects to people above the age of 45 years and they are treated with regular exercise and healthy eating. Insulin tablets and injections are also needed sometimes. However, if Type 1 diabetes is left untreated, the person having type 1 diabetes accumulates dangerous chemical substances that have produced from burning of fat and this condition is known as keto acidosis. Genetic susceptibility is also a factor causing diabetes. The genes of an individual carry proteins and instructions that are need for the functioning of the body. Hence, if anyone parent of an individual is affected with diabetes, then the chances of that individual of having diabetes is higher. Thus, is could be said that the origin of diabetes disease in an individual comes from its heredity. The diagnosis of diabetes disease could be done by the Fasting Plasma Glucose Test and the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test. The Fasting Plasma Glucose Test is done after fasting for at least 8 hours and the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test is also done after 8 hours fasting as well as 2 hours after the person drinks 75 grams of glucose water. There are certain proportions of blood glucose level that determines that the person is suffering from diabetes or not (Buschard, 2011).

Source: Jackman, et. al., 2015.


The main reason for the occurrence of Cholera is because of a bacterial infection in the intestine of an individual (Barua & Burrows, 1974). The infection in many of the cases can be very mild and thus no proper symptoms can be detected at the beginning. The symptoms of cholera are that of intense diarrhea, vomiting and cramps in the leg. Not each and every patient of cholera will be affected in a major way. Statistics show, that approximately one out of twenty patients of cholera suffer in an intense manner. Since the symptoms of cholera include diarrhea and vomiting, the body of the patient gets easily dehydrated and the person can also go into a state of shock. Thus in an intense case of Cholera, the patient can even die in a matter of a few hours if the person is not provided with proper treatment at the very earliest.

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The main reason behind a person becoming a victim of the disease of cholera is the intake of contaminated or infected food and water. The areas or locality where there sewage system and provision of drinking water is treated in a poor manner, there is a greater possibility of the people of those areas getting affected with this particular disease (Hayhurst, 2001). And if the feces of the people suffering from cholera get mixed with the system of water supply then the disease can spread in the entire locality at the blink of an eye and thus create an epidemic. The bacterium that causes cholera may live in the environment in some coastal areas. Thus if a person consumes shellfish in a raw manner, then he or she too has the chances of getting affected by the disease as the shellfish may contain that particular bacterium.

During the 1800s this disease was very much common in America. The main reason behind it being that of industrialization and thus other industrialized nations were also affected. But the modern systems in which the sewage and water is treated has been able to almost wipe out this disease. Moreover, if tourists go to a place which is affected by cholera, they may even carry the bacterium being exposed to it and as a result bring it back in their native land. Thus simple but effective precautions need to be taken by outside travellers as well the people who live in the region in order to get rid of such a dangerous disease.


Diphtheria is the serious disease caused by the infection of a bacterium which ultimately affects the respiratory system or the skin (Guilfoile, 2009). The symptoms of respiratory diphtheria are that of sore throat, fever and in some cases the neck also gets swollen up. In intense or sever cases of diphtheria a layer of membrane gets formed over the throat and for this reason the patient suffers from breathing problems. The kind of diphtheria affecting the skin is known as cutaneous diphtheria and the symptoms of it is that lesions are formed on the skin. If a person affected from this disease is not treated in a proper way then he or she can go to coma or even die. Thus the severity of this disease can very well be understood and thus precaution should be taken at any cost.

This disease can be spread by an infected person by the acts of coughing or sneezing. This happens due to the fact that the person actually expels the drops which contain the bacterium of diphtheria and thus the other person coming in contact with it inhales it and thereby becomes a victim of it (Margulies, 2005). The treatment of this disease is mainly done by hospitalizing the patient and giving him or her antibiotics.

America has a history of suffering from Diphtheria before 1920s but after that with the introduction of the vaccine – this disease has taken a backseat.


The reason that a person gets affected with malaria is because a person gets affected with the parasite transmitted by the infected mosquitoes (Isle, 2001). The symptoms of this disease can be observed within ten day to four weeks after the individual has been bitten by the infected mosquito. The symptoms of malaria are as follows: chills, fever, sweating, muscle pain and headache. When this disease occurs in a serious or sever manner, then the patient may vomit a lot, suffer from iron deficiency (anemia), kidneys can fail to work properly, can go to coma or even die.

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The anti-malarial drugs help in curing the disease in the infected patients but there are also many ways in which this particular disease can be prevented to happen. No open fresh waters should be kept in one’s household or neighborhood as that is best breeding place for mosquitoes. Precautions against getting bitten can be taken by igniting mosquito killing coils, covering the windows with nets etc. Each and every individual should avoid getting bitten by mosquitos where the malaria infection is either quite common or if there is already an individual affected with the disease.

Since the parasite causing malaria needs warm temperature in order to grow and survive, this disease is mainly found in tropical and sub-tropical countries (Marcus, 2004).


This disease is caused by a virus and is highly contagious in nature. The very early symptoms of this disease which can noticed are that of fever, cough, the eyes turn red, and the patient suffers from a runny nose (Rosaler, 2005). Initially, a type of rash appears on the skin where white spots can be noticed around the mouth and a red rash covers the whole body. The longevity of this rash is about four to seven days. In cases where the disease of very severe and intense nature, the patient can also suffer from diarrhea, the ear can get infected, occurrence of pneumonia is also a possibility, the brain can get swelled up (encephalitis) and also death.

The measles virus can be transmitted from one person to another by the act of simple sneezing or coughing. The virus has the capability to stay in the air for about two long hours even after the person infected with the virus has left the place. There is no particular remedy or instant treatment for such a disease. The patients are mainly advised to take complete bed rest.

Around the world, more than 20 million people are affected with this in each and every year and thus this disease can be said to be very common. But with an effective immunization campaign, this disease can be controlled and thus the population can be kept safe.


This is a kind or type of the disorder of joints for which the joints gets swollen up. This is a common disease in adults who lead a very unhealthy lifestyle and do not give much importance their own health and eating habits. Arthritis occurs mainly as a result of continuous physical inactivity and a poor nutrition of the individual under consideration. The people who have a greater chance of getting affected by this particular disease are those suffering from the following factors: Obesity, Joint Injuries etc. If a person endeavors to manage his weight and thereby decrease it to a proper limit, then the risk of the person getting affected by arthritis is much lowered. Thus doing physical activity on a regular basis can be considered as a precautionary measurement to such a disease. There are many different kinds of arthritis but the most common of them in existence is that of osteoarthritis.

Influence of various factors on Public Health Policies

In the United States, the threats due to the environmental health are always increasing and are much more observable in the populations having low income and also in that of the communities where colored people belong (Perrin, Durch & Skillman, 1999). The environmental science researchers have always endeavored to find a correlation or association between the environment in which human beings are existing and the condition of health of those people. Thus, the role and responsibility of the primary care physicians as well as that of the other health providers are always in a state of flux as they have to act according to the environment itself. Thus they have an influence on the health policies that are being constructed for the general population to follow. The health of the general population is also one of the responsibilities of an efficient government and thus a governmental body would try to use its resources in order to understand and thereby develop public health policies which will prove to enrich and enhance the lives of the general population (Holland, 1999). Scientific and technological advancement has made a lot of things easier for the general population. Through scientific research work, a lot of effective medicines have been created which helps to treat patients and the basic precautionary medicines are mentioned in the health policies. Through the technological advancement, many devices have been created which helps in the detection as well as cure of many diseases at a very early stage. Thus in a way, the scientific and technical factors also have an influence on the public health policies that are made for the general population.

Efficacy of the Various Factors Involved

The current public health policies are quite efficient as a lot of diseases have been able to be prevented through the proper execution of these policies. The primary policy of creating awareness regarding the different diseases and their effects is the first step towards preventing and mitigating the various kinds of infectious as well as non-infectious diseases. Through awareness the possibility of the disease occurring will be lowered and thus care and treatment can be done in a proper way. Secondly, as the development in the field of medicine due to the extensive scientific researches done has happened in a great manner, so it has a positive effect on the public health policies (Brownson, 2003). Through governmental endeavor different campaigns are conducted over different regions and places in order to provide with medicinal equipment, giving a clinical check up to the individuals of the area in order of find out if anyone is suffering from any diseases. The policy which states that each individual is needed to go through a medical checkup within time to time actually helps individuals to identify if they are having any health problems at a very early stage. Thus is can be said in a way that the efficacy of the policies and practices are positive in the lives of the general population.

Alternative Approaches to Address the Different Health Problems

The alternative way in which different diseases can be controlled can be through the process of vaccination. For example, rotavirus, pneumococcal and HPV vaccines can be considered as significant and very important new interventions which can be used to reduce the different diarrheal diseases, infections relating to the respiratory tract or respiration and cervical cancer respectively. Diarrhea can also be controlled with the treatment of zinc, ORS and antibiotics amongst others.


Thus it can be observed that the human life is vulnerable to the human life but at the same time can be controlled by taking some simple precautionary measures. A lot of factors influence the construction of the public health policies which are helpful for the general population. But it is also the responsibility of the health providers to take care of some ethical issue while doing their job. For example, no care provider should work is he or she is sick as that would increase the opportunity of the disease getting spread. Thus it can very well be understood that the diseases can be ridden off only by the joint effort of both the patient and the care giver. There is not perfect treatment for diabetes but could be controlled by leading a healthy life style along with regular exercise and healthy eating.


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