Lithuania is a fairly small European country with a population of about 2.8 million as of 2016. Despite its size, Lithuania still subject to several major infectious diseases. Since its 2008 financial crisis, Lithuania has recovered significantly and has become one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union. However, despite such impressive development in recent years, finding adequate treatments and solutions to the top diseases in Lithuania remains a challenge.
What are the top diseases in Lithuania?
- Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a vector-borne disease involving the central nervous system, which is acquired through the bite of an infected arthropod. The disease often manifests as meningitis, encephalitis or meningoencephalitis.
- Meningococcal meningitis is a bacterial disease causing an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord. Bacteria are transmitted from person to person by respiratory droplets and close contact from crowded living conditions.
- According to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010), ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease and self-harm were the highest ranking causes of premature death in Lithuania in terms of the number of years of life lost (YLLs).
- The risk factors that account for top diseases in Lithuania are dietary risks, high blood pressure and alcohol use. The leading risk factors for children under five and adults aged 15-49 years were iron deficiencies and alcohol use in 2010.
- In a 2014 Country Profile conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) on noncommunicable diseases, proportional mortality (percent of total deaths, all ages, both sexes) is divided as follows:
– 54 percent cardiovascular diseases;
– 20 percent cancers;
– 12 percent other NCDs;
– Eight percent injuries;
– Three percent communicable, maternal, perinatal and nutritional conditions;
– Two percent chronic respiratory diseases;
– One percent diabetes.
Recognizing and understanding the state of people and society in Lithuania in regards to their health and well-being provides key insight into public health successes, as well as areas where additional assistance and improved conditions and resources are needed.
– Mikaela Frigillana