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CDC Global Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs)

More than 75% of all deaths worldwide are due to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). NCD deaths worldwide now exceed all communicable, maternal and perinatal nutrition-related deaths combined and represent an emerging global health threat. Every year, NCDs kill 9 million people under 60 years of age. The socio-economic impact is staggering.

These NCD-related deaths are caused by chronic diseases, injuries, and environmental health factors. Important risk factors for chronic diseases include tobacco, excessive use of alcohol, an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and high blood pressure.

Importantly, deaths due to NCDs are becoming more common in low- and middle-income countries, where the majority of NCD deaths occur and where health systems are often not equipped to respond. The WHO reported in 2010 that 31% of deaths in developing countries are caused by communicable disease, while the remainders of deaths are caused by these noncommunicable diseases and injuries:

  • Cardiovascular disease – 25%
  • Cancer – 12%
  • Injury  - 11%
  • Chronic Respiratory Disease – 8%
  • Diabetes – 5%
  • Other - 8%

The world’s focus on NCDs as a growing global epidemic was kicked off in September 2011 when the United Nations General Assembly met for only the second time in its history on a health issue to address the prevention and control of NCDs. The United Nations high-level meeting on noncommunicable disease prevention and control was a unique opportunity for CDC to highlight and expand existing NCD-related activities.

In the pages that follow, you will find a wealth of information about global NCD prevention and promotion. For additional questions about this topic, please email CDC at:


Noncommunicable Diseases Country Profiles 2014
by Leanne Riley and Melanie Cowan
World Health Organization, July 2014

In September 2011, WHO released the first set of Noncommunicable Diseases Country Profiles, highlighting the status of NCDs in each WHO Member State. This second set of profiles builds on this earlier report and provides an updated overview of the NCD situation for each country. The focus in these new profiles is on presenting information for each country related to their NCD mortality, risk factors and national systems capacity to prevent and control NCDs. The profiles include the number, rates and causes of deaths from NCDs and trends in NCD mortality since 2000; the prevalence of selected risk factors; and information describing current national responses to prevention and control of NCDs.

  • Page last reviewed: September 29, 2014
  • Page last updated: September 29, 2014
  • Content source: Global Health
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