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Need to increase focus on non-communicable diseases in global health, says WHO

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c7065 (Published 08 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c7065
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

Governments worldwide need to increase the priority given to fighting non-communicable diseases especially in the poorest nations, the World Health Organization says.

The sense of urgency by WHO is driven by the high and projected increases in the prevalence rates of non-communicable diseases—cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes, and chronic lung diseases.

These four major groups of diseases share four risk factors—tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and the harmful use of alcohol.

Ala Alwan, WHO’s top official for non-communicable diseases and mental health, said, “The reason for the focus on these four major group …

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