Noncommunicable diseases

What are NCDs


What are NCDs?

NCDs, commonly known as chronic or lifestyle-related diseases, include cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes. These diseases are the world’s biggest killers and a leading cause of death in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Every year, more than 1.7 million people in the Region die from these 4 diseases alone, and yet many of these deaths could be prevented through simple lifestyle-related changes and cost-effective interventions implemented by national governments. 


What casues NCDs

What causes NCDs

What causes NCDs?

The four main NCDs are caused, to a large extent, by 4 unhealthy behaviours, or risk factors: tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol. These unhealthy behaviours lead to 4 key metabolic/biological changes that increase the risk of NCDs: raised blood pressure, overweight/obesity, high blood glucose levels/diabetes, and hyperlipidemia (high levels of fat in the blood).


Regional burden

NCDs regional burdern

What is the regional burden?

The regional burden of NCDs continues to grow and tackling this burden constitutes one of the major development challenges of the 21st century. NCDs claimed over 2.2 million lives in 2012, over 57% of all deaths. Future projections indicate there will be an alarming increase in the prevalence of NCDs with the 4 main NCDs causing as many as 2.4 million deaths in 2025, unless serious action is taken.


WHO's response

What can we do

WHO's response

Under WHO's leadership more than 190 countries agreed in 2011 on global mechanisms to reduce the avoidable NCD burden, including a "Global action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs 2013-2020". This plan aims to reduce the number of premature deaths from NCDs by 25% by 2025 through 9 voluntary global targets, which address risk behaviours, such as tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. “Best buy” or cost-effective, high-impact interventions exist to help governments meet the global targets.

2.2 millionlives lost annually to NCDs in the Region
51%of lives lost to NCDs are premature, before 70
65%of deaths from NCDs are linked to risk factors