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WHO Releases Global Status Report On NCDs Calling Chronic Diseases World's Leading Killer

The WHO “published a report Wednesday showing the prevalence of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular illness around the world, along with countries’ abilities to cope with the growing number of people affected by them,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports (9/13). In the report, “the WHO said 36 million people died of chronic diseases in 2008, the most recent year for which data is available,” VOA News writes, adding, “More than a quarter of those people were less than 60 years old” (9/13). The report’s release coincides with the first U.N. summit on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which is scheduled to take place in New York September 19-20, the AP notes (9/13).

Council On Foreign Affairs Backgrounder Examines Global Action On NCDs

Toni Johnson, senior staff writer for the Council on Foreign Affairs, writes about global action on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in this backgrounder published by the organization on Monday. The piece includes an introduction about NCDs and their increasing burden in the developing world, and discusses the rise in global death rates due to…

George W. Bush Institute Forms Public-Private Partnership To Combat Cervical, Breast Cancers In Developing World

The George W. Bush Institute is forming a public-private partnership to use PEPFAR’s existing infrastructure of doctors, nurses and clinics to expand screening and treatment of women for cervical cancer and perform breast cancer education in the developing world, the Wall Street Journal reports. The goal of the partnership, which also includes the State Department, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and UNAIDS, “is to reduce the number of cervical cancer deaths by 25 percent in five years in countries where it scales up screening and treatment,” WSJ writes, adding, “Its initial investment will be $75 million.”

U.N. Member States Must Face Health, Economic Impacts Of NCDs

In this Huffington Post opinion piece outlining many facts and statistics surrounding non-communicable diseases (NCDs) worldwide, Susan Blumenthal, public health editor of the Huffington Post and former assistant surgeon general, along with Katherine Warren and Lauren Macherelli, who previously worked at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, where Blumenthal is director of the health and medicine program, write, “The world is at a crossroads when it comes to the chronic disease epidemic and its enormous health and economic impacts.”

U.N. Member States Reach Tentative Agreement On NCD Declaration

U.N. member state representatives recently reached an agreement “on a political declaration document for the 19 September U.N. high-level meeting on the prevention and control of on non-communicable diseases (NCDs),” although the document is “somewhat watered down from an original version,” ScienceInsider reports (Reardon, 9/7). “The process has hit delays and setbacks, including resistance from some member countries to setting hard targets for reducing disease,” according to the PBS Newshour blog “The Rundown” (Miller, 9/7).

Rich Countries Watering Down NCD Commitments To Appease Multinational Companies

In this Sydney Morning Herald opinion piece, Boyd Swinburn, a professor and director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention at Deakin University in Australia, examines how “rich countries, … particularly the U.S. and European Union but also Australia, Canada and New Zealand, … are joining forces with tobacco, food, alcohol and pharmaceutical corporations to water down commitments that might flow from” this month’s U.N. High-level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in New York.

Apply Lessons From The AIDS Response To NCD Control And Prevention In Developing Countries

In anticipation of the September 2011 U.N. High-level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) “should not only look at the lessons learned in the control of NCDs in developed countries, but also those from other areas of public health, especially AIDS, which can inform the design of an effective and sustainable response to NCDs in developing countries,” Rebecca Dirks from FHI 360 and colleagues write in this PLoS Medicine Policy Forum editorial piece.

NCD Summit Negotiations Must Get Back On Track To Help Millions Worldwide

With negotiations over the outcomes for the U.N. High-level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) stalled, “[i]t is feared that sound proposals for clear goals and timelines to tackle these devastating diseases are being systematically deleted, diluted and downgraded by some U.N. Member States and urgent action is needed to put the negotiations back on track, when they recommence on September 1,” Rob Moodie, chair of Global Health at the Nossal Institute of Global Health, writes in the Crikey health blog “Croakey.”

Global Obesity Rates Doubled Over Last 30 Years, Researchers Say

“Obesity rates worldwide have doubled in the last three decades, even as blood pressure and cholesterol levels have dropped,” according to a series of papers published Friday in the Lancet, the Associated Press/New York Times reports (8/25). According to the researchers, “1.5 billion adults are overweight and another half-a-billion are obese,” and “the rise in obesity is likely to lead to an increase in the number of people afflicted by diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other illnesses, adding to the cost of healthcare,” VOA News’ “Breaking News” blog writes (8/25).

U.N. Summit On NCDs 'Is A Battleground' Of Private Versus Public Interests

David Stuckler of the University of Cambridge, Sanjay Basu of the University of California, San Francisco, and Martin McKee of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, write in a BMJ commentary that misconceptions and fallacies “have led to serious under-budgeting for non-communicable diseases” (NCDs). The authors question whether food companies, or lobbying groups and non-governmental organizations that are influenced by food corporations, should “be viewed as trusted partners and have a seat at the table during public health negotiations” leading up to the U.N. High-level Meeting on NCDs.