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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Lifestyle diseases

The definition ‘lifestyle diseases’ includes physical and mental diseases which are mostly caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. Most frequent rated medical conditions are; cardiac diseases (often caused by smoking and alcohol) and unhealthy nutrition (e.g. a lack of physical activity).

Most at risk of acquiring a physical or mental lifestyle disease are adults who are socio-economically disadvantaged, with a low level of education and those with a migration background belong to the groups of adults. A European study results state a correlation between social status and health status; the more people are socio-economically disadvantaged the more they are at health risk. An unhealthy lifestyle and the high rate of chronic diseases also influence the expectation of life; even if there is a difference between social classes.

Special campaigns on health promotion can help reach social disadvantaged groups and support them in using different health services, so awareness-raising in combination with giving information is very important. To change a person’s lifestyle, especially within social underprivileged groups, is a precarious aspect because people’s culture of living may be influenced.