Chronic or noncommunicable diseases (NCD) kill 41 million people each year, roughly 71 percent of all deaths globally. In 2015, all countries in the United Nations committed to reducing the number of deaths from these conditions by one-third by 2030. A new analysis predicts that more than 80 percent of the countries will fail to honor this reduction. The findings are published in the Lancet.
In order of prevalence, cardiovascular conditions, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes are the four key deadly chronic diseases that account for 80 percent of all premature deaths due to NCD. The new report notes that the target will be achieved only in 35 countries for women and in 30 countries for men, as long as these countries maintain or surpass their 2010-2016 rate of decline in mortality due to chronic diseases. Most of these are high-income countries with an already low mortality rate from these conditions.
On the other hand, 86 countries for women and 97 for men (46 and 52 percent of the signatories, respectively) have a lot of work to do if they want to increase their rate of decline of these conditions. The remaining 50 countries for women and 35 for men stand somewhere in the middle – they are projected to reach the target after 2030, so with aimed interventions, they could achieve it in time.
“While much of the world is falling short of the UN target to alleviate the burden of chronic diseases, dozens of countries could meet this goal with modest acceleration of already-favourable trends. This requires national governments and international donors to invest in the right set of policies,” lead author of the report Professor Majid Ezzati, from Imperial’s School of Public Health, said in a statement.
“Treatment of hypertension and controlling tobacco and alcohol use alone can prevent millions of deaths from cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other NCDs. But there is also a need for affordable high-quality care to diagnose and treat chronic diseases as early as possible.”
The least likely places to die of premature death before your 70th birthday due to the main NCDs are South Korea, Japan, Spain, and Switzerland for women. For men, it’s Iceland, Switzerland, Sweden, and Norway – all high-income countries.
But high-income doesn’t mean a true commitment to the health and welfare of a population. The United Kingdom ranks 17th for men and 27th for women. The US ranks 44th for women and 53rd for men. The regions men are most likely to die due to the four key NCDs are Mongolia, Fiji, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Russia. For women, the worst countries are Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Guyana, Yemen, and Afghanistan.
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