Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Global non-communicable disease

Where did all the other non-communicable diseases go?

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 13 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5785
  1. Gretchen L Birbeck, director and professor1
  1. 1Michigan State University, International Neurologic and Psychiatric Epidemiology Program (INPEP), East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
  1. birbeck{at}

Serious consideration is needed about which non-communicable diseases to discuss at this month’s United Nations meeting if people in low income countries are to benefit.1 The diseases selected are more problematic in high income than in low income countries. Stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and chronic obstructive lung disease primarily affect older adults while low income countries remain largely populated by youth. According to World Health Organization data,2 upper middle income countries stand …

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