Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) – mainly cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes – are the biggest cause of death worldwide. More than 36 million die annually from NCDs (63% of global deaths), including 14 million people who die too young before the age of 70. More than 90% of these premature deaths from NCDs occur in low- and middle-income countries, and could have largely been prevented. Most premature deaths are linked to common risk factors, namely tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol.
The World Health Organisation has launched a Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases, which provides a road map and menu of policy options for countries, intergovernmental organisations, NGOs and the private sector. If these are implemented by 2020, a number of global targets will be reached, including a 25% reduction in premature mortality from NCDs by 2025.
For more information about the Action Plan to prevent NCDs on the who.int website
People born in eastern Europe are almost five times more likely to die young due to a heart attack or stroke than those born in western Europe. Since 2000, this disparity in risk of premature death has significantly increased from a fourfold difference at the beginning of the century to the current nearly fivefold difference. These early and preventable deaths due to cardiovascular diseases are the greatest single contributor to the lower life expectancy in the east of Europe compared to the west.
Among the largest contributors to the growing disparity in cardiovascular health are the consumption of tobacco and alcohol and the deficiency of evidence-based interventions at the clinical level.
For more information about cardio-vascular disease in Europe on the euro.who.int website
The last 50 years have witnessed remarkable improvements in CVD outcomes. Since 1960, overall CVD mortality rates have fallen by over 60%, but these improvements are not evenly spread across OECD countries, and the rising prevalence of diabetes and obesity are threatening to offset gains. This report examines how countries perform in their ability to prevent, manage and treat cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes.
To read the report online, click here on www.oecd.org
Fewer people are dying from stroke and heart attacks than before, but rising levels of obesity and diabetes, particularly among younger people, are going to push mortality rates higher, according to a new OECD report. Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes: Policies for Better Health and Quality of Care points out that although there has been a 60% drop in mortality rates in the last 50 years in OECD countries from cardiovascular disease (CVD) it still remains the leading cause of death.
Currently around 85 million people in OECD countries have diabetes, which represents around 7% of people aged 20-79 years, and this number is projected to reach 108 million by 2030 – a 27% increase. Obesity is also rising, affecting one in five people in the OECD. Amongst other things, the report recommends that countries should:
- Do more to promote healthier lifestyles. Anti-smoking policies, initiatives to reduce salt consumption and combat obesity have all been shown to be effective
- Ensure primary care is financially accessible to everyone and the gap between recommended care and care provided in practice is closed.
- Improve accountability and transparency of primary care performance.
- Establish a national framework to improve the quality of acute care and reduce regional variations within countries.
- Ensure reforms involve every single aspect of the health system, from policies and prevention to primary care, emergency care, acute care and rehabilitation, as the complexity of treating CVD and diabetes means that the chain of care is only as strong as its weakest link.
To read the full report, click here on www.oecd.org
This report summarizes the best available evidence for a link between psychosocial factors and morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases and cancer in Europe. The psychosocial factors repeatedly identified as related to chronic diseases include high job demand, low autonomy, low control or high effort-reward imbalance, interpersonal conflicts and low social support or low trust. Psychosocial factors might therefore become part of complex total risk-reducing interventions focusing on multiple risk factors.
To download the report, click here on www.euro.who.int