Non-communicable diseases must have greater priority, says WHO

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 14 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2857
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    The World Health Organization has launched a new global initiative to try to ensure that non-communicable diseases urgently get given much greater priority in the health and development policies of poor nations and on global aid agendas.

    At present non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic lung disease are responsible for about 35 million deaths each year, or 60% of all deaths worldwide, says WHO. Of these, 80% occur in low and middle income nations.

    All four diseases share the same risk factors: tobacco use, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and harmful use of alcohol, say WHO experts.

    The agency predicts that percentage increases in mortality from non-communicable diseases will reach double digits in the coming years, thus …

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