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Non-communicable Diseases in the Era of Precision Medicine: An Overview of the Causing Factors and Prospects

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Abstract

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are among the most significant health challenges of the twenty-first century, causing 7 out of 10 deaths worldwide. Despite recent technological and medical advances, NCDs mortality and morbidity rates are increasing, and it is expected that by 2030 they will have caused 52 million deaths. In 2017, 41 million people died due to NCDs, and 80% of these deaths could have been prevented. Cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic lung disease are the primary causes of mortality among NCDs-related deaths. Autoimmune diseases (ADs) affect 5–10% of the globe and have detrimental effects on patients’ quality of life, life expectancy, and healthcare costs. Apart from the genetic background, 80% of the risk factors of NCDs are modifiable, including diet, hidden hunger, smoking, alcohol, air pollution, and physical activity, all discussed in this chapter. Accumulating evidence shows that changes in diet, lifestyle, and socioeconomic status have resulted in a substantial metabolic shift associated with the rapid increase of ADs. However, current approaches do not fully capture the individual variability on genes and lifestyle or consider the impact of modifiable factors on health. As such, there is growing pressure from patients’ increasing demand and substantial healthcare costs for prevention, prediction, early diagnosis, and effective treatment of NCDs. With the advent of precision medicine, there have been efforts made to deliver tailor-made solutions for NCDs. Metabolomics, an emerging field that gives a detailed analysis of the phenotype, is currently being investigated as a potential precision medicine tool for screening, patient stratification, and treatment personalization. In this chapter, we present up-to-date data on the mitigating epigenetic and lifestyle risk factors for NCDs and ADs and review the current methodology for their assessment.

Keywords

  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Risk factors
  • Metabolomics
  • Hidden hunger
  • Vitamin D
  • Metabolic shift
  • Insulin resistance
  • Inflammation

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-64969-2_13
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Tsoukalas, D., Sarandi, E., Thanasoula, M. (2021). Non-communicable Diseases in the Era of Precision Medicine: An Overview of the Causing Factors and Prospects. In: Koukios, E., Sacio-Szymańska, A. (eds) Bio#Futures. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-64969-2_13

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