In a post on the State Department’s “DipNote” blog, Krysten Carrera, a Presidential Management Fellow in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, discusses why non-communicable diseases “represent an urgent and growing threat to global public health” (6/18).
Non Communicable Disease/Chronic Disease
“Nearly a half-century after U.S. cigarette packs were emblazoned with their first, modest warning, ‘Caution: Cigarette Smoking May be Hazardous to Your Health,’ the Food and Drug Administration – at Congress’ behest – is â€¦ requiring tobacco companies to print painful images, such as that of a man smoking through a hole in his throat or of a lip eroded by cancer and a mouthful of rotting teeth, right on their cigarette packs,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports (Gelles, 6/22).
The number of adults with type 2 diabetes has doubled worldwide over the last three decades, rising from 153 million in 1980 to 347 million, “a sign that the epidemic will impose an ever-greater cost burden on health systems,” according to a study published on Saturday in the Lancet, the Wall Street Journal reports (Naik, 6/27).
Russia is aiming to cut the number of smokers in the country by up to 15 percent by 2050, “huge ambitions considering 40 percent of Russians light up,” VOA News reports.
“The rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs)” is “a growing but under-addressed challenge in both the developed and developing world,” Jean-Luc Butel, executive vice president and group president for Medtronic’s international operations, writes in a Muskegon Chronicle opinion piece. “[S]hifting demographics, lifestyles and environmental factors in places like China and India have led to a dramatic increase in NCDs,” he writes, adding that “[e]stimates suggest NCDs will account for three out of every four deaths globally by 2030.”
CDC Director Thomas Frieden, who currently is visiting India and who previously worked with the Indian government assisting in tuberculosis (TB) control, praised the country’s “progress in controlling tuberculosis and tobacco use” on Monday during a speech to health practitioners and policymakers, according to the Wall Street Journal’s “India Real Time” blog. Frieden also noted “India’s strides in the past decade on â€¦ polio control and HIV/AIDS prevention,” the blog reports.
In a report (.pdf) released on Tuesday, the World Bank urged China to step up its efforts to fight non-communicable diseases (NCDs), “the main cause of death in the country, warning of rising health expenditure and an economic slowdown if rapid action is not taken,” Reuters reports.
With disease burden shifting from infectious diseases to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) over the coming years, “African health scientists need more funding and support to overcome the barriers and deal with a changing health situation on the continent,” Olive Shisana, chief executive officer of the South African Human Sciences Research Council, said during a keynote address at last week’s World Health Summit in Berlin, Germany, SciDev.Net reports. “Many of these diseases can be prevented by putting scientific research and health technologies to work, said Shisana, adding that this ‘epidemiological transition is an opportunity for us to build capacity and to collaborate to tackle these diseases together for the benefit of the globe,’” the news service writes.
“More than 50 percent of all new cancers and two-thirds of the annual cancer mortality worldwide happen in low-income and middle-income countries,” a Lancet editorial states and describes how the recently released report Closing the Cancer Divide, by the Global Task Force on Expanded Access to Cancer Care and Control in Developing Countries, “presents a compelling case for comprehensive action on expanded access to cancer care and control with realistic recommendations that will be beneficial beyond cancer.” The editorial says the report notes that cancer and issues surrounding it “need to be addressed on humanitarian and rights-based grounds,” as well as “in terms of economic productivity and development.”
“‘First world’ health problems such as obesity and heart disease may be gaining ground in developing nations, but they are mostly afflicting the rich and middle class while poor people remain undernourished and underweight,” according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Reuters reports. “Researchers who looked at more than 500,000 women from 37 mid- and low-income nations in Asia, Africa and South America found that there was a clear divide between the better-off and the poor,” Reuters states, adding, “Across countries, the wealthier the women were, the higher their average [body mass index (BMI)], a pattern that held steady over time.” The news service notes, “The pattern is different from that seen in wealthy nations, such as the United States, where lower incomes and less education often correlate with higher weight” (Norton, 11/3).