More research into chronic diseases urgently needed in all countries

January 29, 2013

When considering chronic (non-communicable) diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, in low-and-middle countries, a major shift in approach from declaring what needs to be done to using research to prioritise, evaluate, monitor and improve health outcomes is urgently needed, according to international experts from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine writing in this week's PLOS Medicine.

The authors, led by Shah Ebrahim, also from the South Asian Network for Chronic Disease in India, make a strong case for conducting research in the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases in all (high-income and low- and middle-income) for mutual benefit. Currently, research into non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries is limited, and despite repeated calls for action, the burden from these diseases is increasing unchecked.

The authors say: "Global and local research, particularly if it can be conducted in parallel in high-income countries and middle- and low-income countries, can provide powerful arguments for the need to act globally."

Non-communicable disease research in high-income countries and low- and middle-income countries has other mutual advantages, such as discovering new causes of non-communicable diseases, replicating and extending findings, and exploring links between infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases.

Also, different non-communicable diseases are at varying stages of needing research, policy development, and action. These stages range from not knowing the population burden of many non-communicable diseases to knowing all that is necessary to take action.

The authors argue for changes in the global and national funding agendas to strengthen the research and health system capacity for non-communicable diseases, which should reduce deaths and disability.

The authors say: "The time has now come for all health-related research and development funders—global, regional, and national— to acknowledge the existence of non-communicable diseases and rise to the challenges they present."

Explore further: Non-communicable diseases having devastating global impact

More information: Ebrahim S, Pearce N, Smeeth L, Casas JP, Jaffar S, et al. (2013) Tackling Non-Communicable Diseases In Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Is the Evidence from High-Income Countries All We Need? PLoS Med 10(1): e1001377. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001377

Related Stories

Non-communicable diseases having devastating global impact

August 30, 2012
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.

New strategies needed to combat disease in developing countries

September 20, 2012
So-called lifestyle diseases are gaining ground with epidemic speed in low-income countries. The traditional health focus in these countries has been to combat communicable diseases such as malaria, HIV and tuberculosis. ...

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 ...

Global fight against non-communicable diseases should take lessons from HIV-AIDS

September 7, 2011
Valuable lessons from the global commitment to fight HIV/AIDS over the past three decades should inspire a new worldwide effort to confront the epidemic of non-communicable diseases, say Emory public health leaders. A UN ...

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.

Providers needed for treatment of fatal non-communicable diseases in Bangladesh

October 12, 2012
Although non-communicable diseases account for a significant burden of deaths among women of reproductive age in low-income countries, little is known about how women and their families seek care for these diseases. A study ...

Recommended for you

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Why sugary drinks and protein-rich meals don't go well together

July 20, 2017
Having a sugar-sweetened drink with a high-protein meal may negatively affect energy balance, alter food preferences and cause the body to store more fat, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Nutrition.

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

0 comments

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.