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New NCD report: Number of premature and avoidable NCD deaths on the rise

World Health Organization (WHO) has released a new Global Status Report on Nonommunicable Diseases (NCDs). The report states that most premature NCD deaths are preventable. Of the 38 million lives lost to NCDs in 2012, 16 million or 42% were premature and avoidable – up from 14.6 million in 2000.

The increasing burden from NCDs was the topic of a UN High Level Meeting in 2011 where world leaders agreed on a roadmap of concrete commitments to address the global burden of NCDs, including a commitment to establish multisectoral action plans and policies for the prevention and control of NCDs.

The four main categories of NCDs are cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases, which share four modifiable behavioural risk factors: Tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet and the harmful use of alcohol. The toll from NCDs is increasing, reaching 16 million people dying prematurely in 2012 – before the age of 70.

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