Please note that 02xl.com provides this information for the benefit of the disease community. 02xl.com is not a medical provider or health care facility and thus can neither diagnose any disease or disorder nor endorse or recommend any specific medical treatments. Patients must rely on the personal and individualized medical advice of their qualified health care professionals before seeking any information related to their particular diagnosis, cure or treatment of a condition or disorder.
A new paper published in Cell Metabolism has shown the growing influence of metabolic diseases in an aging population.
Related diseases studied together
Metabolic diseases include hypertension, type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, obesity, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease . These diseases, representing fundamental problems with how the human body uses energy, are heavily linked to systemic inflammation .
The authors note that previous studies relating to these metabolic diseases have measured each of them independently. This paper looks at these diseases collectively, from a public health perspective, treating these non-communicable diseases with the same gravity as a pandemic.
Prevalence and mortality
This study, which was based on 2019 data, estimated that there were a full 43.8 million cases of type 2 diabetes, 18.5 million cases of hypertension, and a full 1.2 billion cases of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: roughly a seventh of the world’s population. The other two diseases could not be accurately measured.
Between 2000 and 2019, when controlling for age, the per-capita death rate has been either holding steady or, in the case of hyperlipidemia, on a downtrend. Of course, with an aging and growing population, the absolute number of people dying from these diseases has been growing rapidly. Globally, obesity was the main contributor to these metabolically related deaths; however, this varied greatly by countries, with poorer countries being less obese and more prone to diabetes-related mortality after standardization for age.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease substantially increased, even after adjustment for age, particularly in males. The prevalence of this metabolic disease increased almost a full percentage point every year from 2000 to 2019, a situation that the authors describe as “alarming”. Fortunately, the total amount of suffering and death, as measured by disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and mortality, seemed to decrease for people who have this disease. The authors hypothesize that this might be due to increased diagnosis of this disease, even when its symptoms are not particularly acute.
As this is a policy-oriented study for global health, the authors spend time discussing what might be done. They hold that the current environment for most people is obesogenic, tending towards diets and practices that lead to obesity, and they list genetics and modifiable risk factors such as smoking and sedentary lifestyles. They also note that type 2 diabetes medications that protect against cardiovascular events might reduce the death and suffering caused by such events .
The elephant in the room is, of course, aging. The authors specifically tune their analysis to exclude the effects of aging and differentially aged populations for exactly this reason; aging has a drastic effect on everything they are attempting to measure.
However, the unspoken assumption, on both an individual and population level, is that it is not modifiable. Therefore, treatments that focus on the age-related root causes of metabolic diseases are not mentioned, and the policy recommendations given are those that are well known but very hard to implement on a wide scale: diet, exercise, and other lifestyle-related habits.
As this paper points out, the total death and suffering caused by metabolic diseases is enormous: more than ten million people died of such diseases in 2019 alone. If policymakers are going to do something about them, they would be well-advised to look for interventions that strike them at their root.
We would like to ask you a small favor. We are a non-profit foundation, and unlike some other organizations, we have no shareholders and no products to sell you. We are committed to responsible journalism, free from commercial or political influence, that allows you to make informed decisions about your future health.
All our news and educational content is free for everyone to read, but it does mean that we rely on the help of people like you. Every contribution, no matter if it’s big or small, supports independent journalism and sustains our future. You can support us by making a donation or in other ways at no cost to you.
GIVE PER MONTH
 Ng, C. H., Wong, Z. Y., Chew, N. W., Chan, K. E., Xiao, J., Sayed, N., … & Muthiah, M. (2022). Hypertension is prevalent in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and increases all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, 9.
 Sethi, J. K., & Hotamisligil, G. S. (2021). Metabolic Messengers: tumour necrosis factor. Nature metabolism, 3(10), 1302-1312.
 Chew, N. W., Ng, C. H., Muthiah, M. D., & Sanyal, A. J. (2022). Comprehensive review and updates on holistic approach towards non-alcoholic fatty liver disease management with cardiovascular disease. Current Atherosclerosis Reports, 24(7), 515-532.
Share your experience. Everybody’s experience of Overweight & Obesity is different. There are many ways to address people’s lived experience of Overweight & Obesity, that must work for the individual. Sharing your story can help change perspectives and inspire others who may feel alone and unrepresented. You can also hear from other people about their experience of Overweight & Obesity.
Thanks for being there: We need your help. The 02xl Overweigt & Obesity
Community continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.
With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords. Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year. If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.