The world has a new challenge: the increase of chronic noncommunicable diseases. This has been noted by the Director General of the WHO, Margaret Chan, who has given concrete data to raise this alarm: some 36 million people died of chronic noncommunicable diseases in the world during 2008, which means that 63 percent of the deaths that year were caused by these pathologies that, by 2030, could have ended the lives of about 52 million people.

Four groups of pathologies accumulate about 80 percent of all deaths from chronic noncommunicable diseases. Cardiovascular diseases generate the majority of these deaths, some 17 million deaths annually, followed by cancer, with 7.6 million; respiratory diseases, with 4.2 million, and diabetes, with 1.3 million. All of them have four common risk factors: smoking, sedentary lifestyle, alcohol abuse and poor diets.

Chan has warned of the repercussions of this situation. Not only in terms of human lives: "for some countries it is not an exaggeration to describe the situation as an imminent disaster, a disaster for health, society and above all for national economies". And he explained that "chronic noncommunicable diseases launch a double blow to development. They cause billions of dollars in losses of national resources and push millions of people below the poverty line, every year. "

Along the same lines, the Deputy Director General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health of WHO, Ala Alwan, pointed out: "Nearly 30 percent of people who die from chronic noncommunicable diseases in low and middle income countries have less than 60 years old and they are in their most productive stage of life. These premature deaths are the most tragic because they could be prevented, "he says.

Source: EUROPE PRESS

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