Another dimension of strategy to prevent chronic diseases
Since cumulative evidence has established human behaviors as a major
contributor to the growing incidence of chronic diseases such as
cardiovascular diseases and cancer worldwide (1), comprehensive measures
to modify these risk behaviors are recognized as the cardinal strategy to
tackle on imminent burden by those diseases. However, promotion of
behavioral modification alone could be hampered by the fact that there are
people who do not have chances or resources to pursue healthy behaviors
In this context, Sturmer et al (3) have demonstrated another component of
human, in addition to behavior, as a significant contributor to the
development of chronic diseases; personality. As the authors have
concluded, personality is probably associated with the incidence of
diseases by way of affecting risk behaviors, which are known to cluster in
same individuals (4), leading to an increased risk for chronic diseases.
understanding of the underlying mechanisms mediating risk behaviors
including clustering of them will establish a basis on which more
widely applicable preventive measures could be established to reduce
expanding burden of chronic diseases.
(1) The world health report 2002. Reducing risks, promoting healthy life.
Geneva, World Health Organization, 2002.
(2) Strong K, Mathers C, Leeder S, Beaglehole R. Preventing chronic
how many lives can we save? Lancet 2005;366:1578-82.
(3) Sturmer T, Hasselbach P, Amelang M. Personality, lifestyle, and risk
cardiovascular disease and cancer: follow-up of population based cohort.
(4) Chiolero A, Wietlisbach V, Ruffieux C, Paccaud F, Cornuz J. Clustering
risk behaviors with cigarette consumption: A population-based survey. Prev
Med 2006 (in press).
Competing interests: No competing interests