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Global Alliance For Chronic Diseases Announces Targets

The Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) on Monday outlined plans “to invest tens of millions of dollars in heart and lung disease studies in a battle against a global epidemic of chronic disease,” over five years, Reuters reports. “The group of agencies, which together manage around 80 percent of global public health research funding, said the health impact and socio-economic costs of chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCDs) was ‘enormous and rising,’” the news service writes. “Experts estimate that unless action is stepped up, 388 million people worldwide will die prematurely in the next decade of chronic non-communicable diseases – which include heart disease, stroke, some cancers, lung conditions, and type 2 diabetes.”

The GACD was launched in June through the support of “six of the world’s most prominent health research agencies – Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, the Indian Council of Medical Research, Britain’s Medical Research Council, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).”

“Elizabeth Nabel, director of the U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute at the NIH and a leading member of the GACD, said its focus would be on so-called ‘implementation science.’ … The GACD would take that knowledge and collaborate on projects looking at how to use the science learned from richer nations’ experiences with chronic disease to help fight the rising tide in developing countries, she said.” The article includes additional information about the human and economic toll of chronic disease (Kelland, 11/16).

The GACD will “seek to reduce hypertension, tobacco use and the indoor pollution caused by the types of cooking stoves used in many developing countries,” which are “believed to be responsible for some 11.5 million deaths per year, almost a third of all deaths associated with CNCDs,” Agence France-Presse reports.

“According to the World Health Organization, which belongs to the group’s board, chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCDs) were responsible for some 60 percent of the 58 million deaths worldwide recorded in 2006,” the news service writes. “The number of deaths caused by CNCDs is twice the combined total of deaths from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, maternal and peri-natal conditions and nutritional deficiencies, according to the alliance” (11/17).