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WHO lists “best buys” for cutting deaths from non-communicable disease

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d2648 (Published 27 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2648
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

Non-communicable diseases, the leading causes of death worldwide, are projected to significantly rise further in prevalence in the coming decades without cost effective interventions such as reducing risk factors, early detection, and timely treatment, says a report from the World Health Organization.

The agency says that non-communicable diseases—primarily cardiovascular illnesses, diabetes, cancers, and chronic respiratory diseases—caused 63% of the 57 million deaths in 2008. Nearly 80% of these deaths were in low and middle income countries. Ala Alwan, WHO’s assistant director general for non-communicable diseases and mental health, said, “Without action the NCD [non-communicable diseases] epidemic is projected to kill 52 million people annually by 2030.”

The report asserts …

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