18 December 2020

This week in PVD

Noncommunicable Diseases Outweigh Infectious Disease As Top Causes of Death – A “Collective Failure”, Says NCD Alliance

The NCD Alliance has called the millions of avoidable deaths due to noncommunicable disease (NCDs) a “collective failure”, as new WHO data shows NCDs now constitute 7 of the top 10 causes of death globally, up from 4 of 10 top causes of death in 2000.

According to WHO’s new Global Health Estimates released Wednesday, the top 10 causes of death amounted to half of the total 55 million deaths worldwide last year. But deaths from NCDs are increasing the most rapidly and dramatically, according to the report, which also looks at trends over the past twenty years, from 2000 to 2019.

More and more low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are suffering from rising NCD rates, associated with poor diets, environmental conditions and unhealthy lifestyles.

In the past 20 years, for instance, deaths from diabetes more than doubled in WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean region, which has been beset by an epidemic of obesity, while diabetes deaths rose globally by 70%.

Heart disease retained its position as the leading cause of death, causing some 9 million deaths last year – up by 2 million since the turn of the millennium. Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia ranked as the 3rd highest cause of death in the Americas and Europe.

Protecting Everyone: Integration of Noncommunicable Diseases into Universal Health Coverage in the era of COVID-19

This policy research report outlines global progress towards integration of NCDs into UHC benefit packages to date. Through analyses of interviews with experts from Australia, Ethiopia, India, Jordan, Mexico, Philippines, Rwanda and Sweden it brokers knowledge by showcasing country-level examples and explores the role of NCD prevention and care to enhance health security in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. It demonstrates that there are tried-and-tested methods to effectively integrate NCDs into UHC at national level in different economic settings, enabling governments to provide care and financial protection to people living with NCDs across the whole population. Such efforts will increase equity and productivity and ensure healthier, more secure populations. Integration of NCDs into UHC as we build back better from the pandemic must be a cornerstone to national and global preparedness for future health threats.

This publication was made possible thanks to the NCD Alliance’s partnership with The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The report was developed by the NCD Alliance and realised through collaboration with eight national NCD Alliances: the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance, Consortium of Ethiopian NCD Associations, Healthy India Alliance, Healthy Philippines Alliance, Jordan NCD Alliance, Mexico Salud-Hable Coalition, Rwanda NCD Alliance, and Swedish NCD Alliance. Warm thanks to the members of all these alliances for their contributions to the research and write up of this report.

Obesity impacts quality of life among those with pulmonary arterial hypertension

Being overweight or obese significantly impacts the long-term quality of life among those who become ill with a lung and high blood pressure condition, a study has found.

A US research team from Philadelphia have been looking at how weight impacts those who experience a pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). People who suffer from PAH have high blood pressure in the arteries that go from their heart to the lungs.

For this study, the researchers studied health data from 767 people with PAH. Of those people, who were found via the Pulmonary Hypertension Association Registry, 40% were obese and 33% were deemed overweight.


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