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Cancer, heart disease on the rise

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are “silent killers” that are increasing in prevalence in the Kingdom and placing a heavy burden on the nation’s healthcare system, experts said on Friday.

Dr Oum Sopheap, executive director of the Khmer HIV/AIDS NGO Alliance (Khana), an NGO that organised a conference on the issue, said NCDs such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease affect more than 56,000 Cambodians each year.

Although this is a relatively low number, representing less than one per cent of the population, it is rising and thus an area of serious concern, Oum Sophea said.

Cambodians are particularly susceptible to contracting NCDs, Oum Sopheap said, because of their lifestyle.

“The reasons why there are many Cambodians getting these diseases is because of their eating, drinking and smoking habits and their lack of exercise,” Oum Sopheap said.

“To prevent these silent killers from continuing to kill our people in the future, I would like to encourage all Cambodians to exercise every day as much as possible,” Oum Sophea said.

According to the World Health Organisation, NCDs are an “invisible epidemic” and the leading cause of death worldwide.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at buthreaksmey.kongkea@phnompenhpost.com

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