8 important health issues to track in 2023

As the year 2023 gets underway, several health issues have been added to the watchlist of global watch bodies, particularly the World Health Organization (WHO). Some of the issues in focus for global health include mental health ailments and what is now known as Long Covid.

8 important health issues to track in 2023

1. Long Covid

The health impact of long COVID often disrupts a person’s ability to engage with school, work, or relationships for months at a time. People with this ailment need diagnostic and proper rehabilitation support from primary care physicians. More research is also needed to find effective treatments and preventive measures to reduce the risk of developing long COVID. 

2. Mental Health Disorders

Mental health disorders are a leading cause of disability globally, with no evidence of a decline since 1990. The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, war, and violence on mental health remains a priority.

3. Lower Respiratory Infections

There was a general decline in influenza and RSV infections in 2020 due to COVID-19 relief measures such as mask use and social distancing. However, with these safety measures being set aside, many young children who have never been exposed to RSV are being infected, resulting in RSV outbreaks

4. Diabetes

Interventions such as more informative food labeling, improving the environment to facilitate exercise, and advocacy to inform people of the risks of diabetes are some of the best options to manage this health issue. Policies to help avoid weight gain and improve dietary quality are also essential. 

5. Dementia

Expected trends in population growth and aging may lead to an increase in the number of people affected by dementia globally, emphasizing the public health importance of dementia. To sufficiently care for those with dementia, appropriate planning for the critical supports and services needed is required.

6. Road Injuries

Road injuries are still an important and preventable injury. For people 15-49 years old, road injuries are the leading cause of death. 

7. Poverty

The unequal dispersal of resources has expanded due to factors including climate change and growing violence. Low- and middle-income countries experience worse health outcomes than high-income countries, with the former experiencing an average life expectancy of 34 years lower than those in middle- to high-income countries.

8. Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and ischemic heart disease are the foremost causes of death globally. They made up for 28% of total deaths in 2021. Additionally, cardiovascular diseases substantially contribute to health loss and the economic burden on healthcare systems. Addressing modifiable cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, dietary risks, smoking, and air pollution is a good way to prevent this disease.


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