Epidemic of Non-Communicable Diseases in Jamaica: Monsters Awoken from Lifestyle Practices


Of the 57 million deaths that occurred in the world in 2008, 63 percent were due to chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCDs), and the majority of those who died were women and elderly people. Objectives: To evaluate health indices of those in the retirement aged cohort and working aged cohort; to determine rates of comorbidity for those in the retirement aged and the working aged cohorts; to compute the prevalence rate of specific chronic non-communicable diseases and to calculate death rates for those in retirement aged and the working aged cohorts. Methods: Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions (JSLC) is a national cross-sectional probability survey that is conducted yearly by two governmental agencies in Jamaica. The current sample is 4313 Jamaicans who are either in the working or retirement aged cohorts from 2007 JSLC survey as well as death statistics from 2002 to 2008. Findings: In 2007, the prevalence rate of deaths that occur due to CNCDs is 50.7% (male, 45.2%; female, 59.5%); 12% of those in the working aged population indicate having an illness compared to 43.2% of those in the retirement aged cohort; 23.7% of retirement aged cohorts reported having diabetes compared to 15% of those in the working aged cohort, and those in the retirement aged cohort imply having hypertension 1.6 times more than those in the working aged cohort. The rate of comorbidity is 20.6% (retirement aged cohort, 27.4%; working aged cohort, 15.6%). The prevalence rate of those with CNCDs is 37.6% for those in the retirement aged cohort and 8.2% for those in the working aged cohort. Conclusion: It is imperative that age, gender, area of residence specific and culturally relevant policies be developed in order to effectively address these health matters without delay.

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Bourne, P. , Francis, C. , Sharpe-Pryce, C. , Hudson-Davis, A. , Solan, I. and Watson-Coleman, O. (2014) Epidemic of Non-Communicable Diseases in Jamaica: Monsters Awoken from Lifestyle Practices. Open Access Library Journal, 1, 1-16. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1100282.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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