Non-communicable diseases having devastating global impact

August 30, 2012 by Catherine Somerville

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes are no longer just a problem in wealthy nations – the rate of NCDs in low-to-middle income countries are increasing faster than in developed countries.

This major public health issue was the focus of the Director's Seminar presented by Professor Rob Moodie from the University of Melbourne's School of .

"Globally 14.2 million people between the ages of 30 and 69 die each year prematurely from diseases which are preventable. Risk factors for these diseases include tobacco use, unhealthy diets and ," Professor Moodie told a packed audience at Burnet.

"There is a common view that only people in die from NCDs but it is a new epidemic in low-to- that needs to be addressed."

Professor Moodie said it was particularly concerning to be told recently by a surgeon at a hospital in Fiji that he was amputating one leg a day from patients suffering sepsis related to diabetes.

"Seven trillion dollars of lost output in developed countries is attributable to NCDs," he said.

"We need to start looking at these new epidemics as they are major global problems that should have our attention."

Explore further: WHO target to cut early chronic illness deaths

Related Stories

WHO target to cut early chronic illness deaths

May 25, 2012
The World Health Organization announced on Friday it was set to approve a new target to reduce premature deaths from chronic illnesses such as heart disease by a quarter by 2025.

New report highlights need for action on health in the aftermath of war

January 1, 2012
Countries recovering from war are at risk of being left to their own devices in tackling non communicable diseases, leaving an "open door" for exploitation by alcohol, tobacco and food companies, health experts warn.

UN summit on non-communicable diseases should learn from global AIDS response

September 6, 2011
As the world prepares to develop a global strategy to tackle some of the biggest current threats to human health, there is a lot to be learned from past successes and mistakes of the global response to HIV/AIDS.

Risk of contracting diabetes to increase in world of 7 billion people

November 14, 2011
World citizen number 7 billion is less likely to die from infectious diseases like measles or even AIDS, and more likely to contract diabetes or other non-communicable diseases (NCDs), as they are now the leading causes of ...

UN leader accuses big business of health cover-up

September 19, 2011
UN leader Ban Ki-moon Monday accused big business of putting public health at risk "to protect their own profits" as he launched a summit on everyday diseases killing tens of millions each year.

Low and middle income countries are the recent targets of processed food manufacturers

June 26, 2012
"There is significant penetration by multinational processed food manufacturers such as Nestle, Kraft, PepsiCo, and Danone into food environments in low-and-middle income countries, where consumption of unhealthy commodities ...

Recommended for you

Novel therapies for multidrug-resistant bacteria

October 23, 2017
During this innovative study published in PLOS One, researchers found that novel classes of compounds, such as metal-complexes, can be used as alternatives to or to supplement traditional antibiotics, which have become ineffective ...

Key discoveries offer significant hope of reversing antibiotic resistance

October 23, 2017
Resistance to antibiotics is becoming increasingly prevalent and threatens to undermine healthcare systems across the globe. Antibiotics including penicillins, cephalosporins and carbapenems are known as β-lactams and are ...

Pneumonia vaccine under development provides 'most comprehensive coverage' to date, alleviates antimicrobial concerns

October 20, 2017
In 2004, pneumonia killed more than 2 million children worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. By 2015, the number was less than 1 million.

Newly discovered viral marker could help predict flu severity in infected patients

October 20, 2017
Flu viruses contain defective genetic material that may activate the immune system in infected patients, and new research published in PLOS Pathogens suggests that lower levels of these molecules could increase flu severity.

Migraines may be the brain's way of dealing with oxidative stress

October 19, 2017
A new perspective article highlights a compelling theory about migraine attacks: that they are an integrated mechanism by which the brain protects and repairs itself. Recent insightful findings and potential ways to use them ...

H7N9 influenza is both lethal and transmissible in animal model for flu

October 19, 2017
In 2013, an influenza virus that had never before been detected began circulating among poultry in China. It caused several waves of human infection and in late 2016, the number of people to become sick from the H7N9 virus ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

PPihkala
not rated yet Aug 31, 2012
When will the doctors treat us towards good health, instead of fixing diseases with drugs? Fixing and preventing malnutrition should stop diabetes and numerous other diseases.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.