Non-communicable diseases (NCDs): a global emergency

Topic Selected: Global Health

General Article icon Type: General Article

NCDs – a fast growing epidemic.

  • NCDs kill 36 million people a year – more than all other causes combined. They are the most frequent cause of death in most countries and account for nearly two thirds of all deaths globally.
  • If current trends continue, NCD deaths will increase by 15 per cent over the next decade, reaching 44 million a year.
  • While infectious disease deaths are projected to decline by about seven million over the next 20 years, cardiovascular disease and cancer deaths are expected to increase by ten million.
  • The World Economic Forum identifies NCDs as a top threat to the global economy.

NCDs hit low- and middle-income countries hardest

  • Nearly four out of five deaths (80%) from NCDs occur in low- or middle-income countries.
  • If current trends continue, by 2

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