2. A rise in chronic illnesses
Another Reddit user noted that chronic, autoimmune diseases are on the rise. A number of hypotheses exist as to why these diseases have risen, including greater awareness and associated diagnoses. Geoff Rutledge, M.D., Ph.D., a California-based physician and chief medical officer at HealthTap, explained why. “A recent review of literature concluded that worldwide rates of rheumatic, endocrinological, gastrointestinal, and neurological autoimmune diseases are increasing by 4 to 7% per year,” he told Shape. The greatest increase has occurred in Western and Northern hemispheres. Both genetics and environmental factors, like smoking, can lead to autoimmune issues, according to a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives.
Next: In turn, diseases like these can impact these first world problems.