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Tuesday October 04, 2022

Non-communicable diseases cause 74pc of global deaths: WHO

By AFP
September 22, 2022

GENEVA: Non-communicable diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes are responsible for 74 percent of deaths globally and cracking down on risk factors could save millions of lives, the WHO said on Wednesday.

A report from the UN health agency shows that so-called NCDs, which are often preventable and caused by an unhealthy lifestyle or living conditions, kill 41 million people every year, including 17 million under the age of 70.

Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and respiratory disease now outnumber infectious diseases as the top killers globally, said the report, titled "Invisible Numbers". "Every two seconds, someone under the age of 70 is dying from an NCD," Bente Mikkelsen, head of the World Health Organisation’s division that oversees such diseases, told reporters in Geneva. "And yet a minimal amount of domestic and international financing is spent on NCDs. This is truly a tragedy."

NCDs are not only the world’s biggest killers, but they also have serious impacts on how people weather infectious diseases, as the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated. People living with NCDs like obesity or diabetes were at greater risk of becoming seriously ill and dying from the virus, the report said.

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