Three Ways NCDs Impact Global Health Security
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Here are three reasons why prevention and control of NCDs and their risk factors are important for global health security:
- A safer population: Reducing NCDs can also reduce susceptibility to infectious disease outbreaks. For example, uncontrolled diabetes increases the risk and severity of infectious diseases like dengue and malaria, and makes tuberculosis even harder to treat. Tobacco smoking is a risk factor for all leading NCDs and also increases risk and severity of influenza, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and hospital-acquired infections.
- Stronger health systems: A health delivery system that ordinarily addresses NCDs can be a first line of defense when a communicable disease emergency occurs. For example, Brazil’s strong system for managing NCDs helped the country respond to the Zika virus epidemic. Additionally, reducing the rate of NCDs keeps health systems from being overburdened when large outbreaks happen.
- Meeting global goals: NCD initiatives contribute to international development goals by reducing the economic burden of illness and death and improving overall capacity for emergency response.
What CDC is doing
CDC’s global NCD activities advance global health security goals to prevent, detect, and respond:
- Prevent: Global Heartsexternal icon strengthens primary care capacity and medication supply chains that can support emergency response activities.
- Detect: Data for Health NCD mobile phone surveys use innovative technology to rapidly and inexpensively conduct disease surveillance and detection – information that is crucial during infectious disease outbreaks.
- Respond: FETP-NCD programs train disease detectives to recognize and prevent both noncommunicable conditions and emerging threats to health security.
For more information, read our article in the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal supplement on Global Health Security at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/23/13/17-0581_article.