Many Countries Failing to Reduce Deaths From Noncommunicable Diseases

Elderly patient with diabetes
Elderly patient with diabetes
Many countries are falling short on targets to reduce mortality from non-communicable diseases.

HealthDay News — Many countries are falling short on targets to reduce mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), according to a study published in the Sept. 22 issue of The Lancet.

James E. Bennett, Ph.D., from Imperial College London, and colleagues explored worldwide trends in NCD mortality and progress toward the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 3.4 in 186 countries and territories.

The authors note that an estimated 71 percent of worldwide deaths were from NCDs in 2016; 80 percent due to cancers, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes. SDG target 3.4, a one-third reduction in the probability of dying from these four NCDs by 2030, relative to 2015, is expected to be achieved in 35 and 30 countries for women and men, respectively, if these countries maintain or surpass the 2010 to 2016 decrease. 

In the subsequent decade, an additional 50 and 35 countries are projected to achieve such a reduction for women and men, respectively; with a slight acceleration in the rate of decline, they could meet the 2030 target. For women and men, 86 and 97 countries need implementation of policies to increase the rate of decline substantially.

“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-favorable trends,” a coauthor said in a statement.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries.

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