Here Are the Surprising First World Problems You Should Actually Care About

2. A rise in chronic illnesses

Medical researcher holding test tube

Chronic illnesses are on the rise, and the reasons remain unclear. | iStock.com/DragonImages

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.

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