Modi suffers from an illness

Diseases: These ten ailments plague Germans the worst

A current study shows which diseases people in Germany suffer most from. For many, smoking and sitting play a role.

Anyone born in Germany is lucky. How much is shown by a look at the current Global Burden of Disease Study, for which more than 1,800 researchers evaluated data on the health of the world's population. A girl born in Germany in 2015 has an average of 83 years of life ahead of her, a boy at least 72. That is significantly more than in most other countries in the world.

In addition to life expectancy, the results also show which diseases affect people in Germany the most. To do this, the researchers combined two factors:

  • The number of years of life an illness robs through premature death.
  • And the number of years of life that someone has to live with limitations due to an illness.

These ten diseases have the strongest effects in Germany:

1. Coronary artery disease

Heart disease is the greatest problem for people in Germany. Doctors call coronary artery disease when the arteries that supply the heart with oxygen and nutrients are narrowed or blocked. Heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias or a heart attack can result.

In 2014, 69,890 people in Germany died as a result of chronic coronary heart disease, reports the Federal Statistical Office.

Statistics also show that men are more often affected than women. One reason for this is protective female sex hormones. In addition, women smoke less than men, explains the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Exercise, a balanced diet and a stress-free lifestyle also protect against the disease.

2. Neck and back pain

If you ask employees in Germany about typical complaints they suffer from, around two thirds complain of tension in the neck and back pain. The Techniker Krankenkasse reported in 2014 that back pain is responsible for around 40 million days of absence each year. And according to the Barmer GEK, the number of patients who visit a clinic because of this condition is steadily increasing. In 2013, 415,000 hospital stays were due to lower back pain, according to the fund.

Back pain can come on suddenly and go away on its own or become chronic. Doctors and sports scientists emphasize how important it is to prevent and counteract back pain through exercise. Those who work a lot while sitting are not doing their back any good. Experts therefore advocate height-adjustable tables, moving breaks and other small measures, such as standing conferences.

3. Diseases of the sense organs: example myopia

In the past, a view into the distance was necessary for survival in order to recognize a lurking predator early on. Today, people spend much of the day staring at computer, television or smartphone screens.

This is noticeable: meanwhile a good 47 percent of 25 to 29 year old Europeans are nearsighted, report researchers in the "European Journal of Epidemiology". Among 55 to 59 year olds, just under 28 percent have significantly fewer problems looking into the distance. If you want to counteract the stress on the screen, you should regularly relax your eyes with special exercises.

Hearing also causes many problems. According to the professional association of ENT doctors, around every 15th person in Germany is hard of hearing. The risk of this increases sharply with age. Long-term noise, in particular, can affect the ears early on, and the damage cannot be reversed. Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common recognized occupational diseases, with around 6,000 cases occurring every year.

4. Lung Cancer

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) estimates that around 55,000 people in Germany will find out that they have lung cancer this year. Men are affected significantly more often than women. According to the Federal Statistical Office, 45,049 people died of lung cancer in this country in 2014.

One of the problems is the lack of a reliable test for the early detection of lung cancer. If tumors are discovered in the organ, the disease is usually more advanced and therefore difficult to treat. Five years after diagnosis, less than a fifth of those affected are still alive.

The greatest risk factor for lung cancer is tobacco smoke; according to the RKI, up to 90 percent of cases in men and at least 60 percent in women are due to smoking.

According to the cancer information service, the first signs of lung cancer can be coughing, shortness of breath and breathing, weight loss and pain in the chest or bones. Smokers in particular should therefore have these symptoms clarified by a doctor.

5. Stroke

Every year around 200,000 people in Germany have a stroke, reports the professional association of German internists. Most of this is caused by a cerebral infarction, in which an important blood vessel is blocked and the brain is no longer properly supplied with blood. Cerebral haemorrhage is less common.

The risk of stroke increases with age. The death of the singer Roger Cicero made it clear that young people can also be affected. Of the 200,000 people affected, around 10,000 are less than 45 years old.

Depending on which regions are affected, the symptoms vary from hemiplegia, weakness in the arm and / or leg, visual difficulties, speech and swallowing disorders up to dizziness. Then every second counts. The faster doctors treat the cause, the fewer nerve cells are destroyed.

About 10 to 20 percent of strokes are announced days or weeks in advance by a so-called Tia (transitory ischemic attack), a kind of "mini-stroke". Those affected develop typical symptoms, which, however, disappear again after a short time. If the symptoms persist for more than 24 hours, doctors speak of a stroke. Those affected should also urgently consult a doctor.

6. Depression

About four million people in Germany are currently stuck in a depressive episode, estimates the German Depression Aid. Far more have already experienced one - or will still get sick from it. Women are affected more often than men. Most people who commit suicide suffer from depression.

The sadness can best be overcome with the help of psychotherapy and antidepressants, often both are combined.

It often happens that people who are depressed do not feel taken seriously or even feel excluded from their environment. At the same time, family and friends are often at a loss as to how to deal with the sick person.

7. Alzheimer's

Many people equate Alzheimer's with dementia, but in fact Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia. It accounts for at least two thirds of diseases. According to much-cited estimates, the number of people with dementia will double by the year 2050 as a result of the aging society - from 1.5 million today to three million. This corresponds to an average increase in the number of patients of 40,000 per year and more than a hundred per day, writes the German Alzheimer's Society.

Other researchers think these prognoses are too bleak. The reason: The number of people with dementia is increasing because the population is getting older. For individuals, however, the risk of falling ill has decreased over the past few decades. The diagnoses are also made later on average. Better education of the people is likely to be an important factor in this.

Ultimately, however, only effective medication that does not yet exist will provide real protection. Researchers are currently exploring many ideas of how they could stop the disease - for example with antibodies or lithium.

8. Diabetes

Around six million people in Germany are diabetic. A small proportion of them suffer from type 1 diabetes, which breaks out in childhood or adolescence. This disease occurs because the immune system destroys certain cells in the pancreas. According to estimates by the RKI, around 30,400 children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes live in Germany. They have to inject insulin because their bodies no longer produce the hormone.

Most people with diabetes in Germany have type 2 diabetes, which is promoted by a lack of exercise and being overweight. The incidence of the disease increases significantly with age: if less than five percent of those under 50 are affected, it is more than 20 percent of those over 70.

The long-term effects of the disease are feared: the increased blood sugar levels increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage and foot amputations.

In order to avoid such complications, it is important to treat your diabetes properly - i.e. to adjust your diet, get enough exercise, lose weight if necessary, and keep an eye on your blood sugar, blood lipid and blood pressure values. Type 2 diabetics may also have to take medication for this.

9. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD

Many have COPD without knowing it. With the disease, the airways are inflamed and permanently narrowed, so that the lungs age faster. Typical signs include persistent cough and shortness of breath, such as when climbing stairs. The disease cannot be cured. However, if it is treated early, medication and respiratory therapies can slow down the progression.

The German Respiratory League assumes that up to five million people suffer from COPD in Germany alone. An important risk factor is smoking for years. Passive smokers are also at risk, as are people who are permanently exposed to pollutants from the air at work.

10. Colon cancer

Every year, more than 60,000 people in Germany are diagnosed with bowel cancer, reports the RKI. Most sufferers are in their early to mid-70s when the cancer is discovered. Men and women are affected similarly often.

Obesity, tobacco consumption, sedentary lifestyle and a low-fiber diet increase the risk. In 2015, the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) also classified processed meat, such as sausage and corned beef, as carcinogenic. Red meat has been categorized as likely to be carcinogenic. Consumption of these meat products increases the risk of colon cancer.

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.

more on the subject

  • Subjects:
  • Lifestyle,
  • Health,
  • Diseases,
  • Heart,
  • Depression,
  • Heart disease,
  • Back pain,
  • Lung cancer
  • Colon cancer,
  • Heart attack,
  • Alzheimer,
  • Dementia,
  • cancer