These projects generate scientific evidence by developing, implementing, and scaling-up interventions to accelerate impact for priority risk factors or disease outcomes.
- Cervical Cancer
- Environmental Health
- Global Hearts Initiative
- Maternal Mortality
- Sodium Reduction
Most cervical cancers are associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which is passed from one person to another during sex. The combination of HPV vaccination, regular screening tests, and treatment will help to decrease the number new cases and deaths associated with cervical cancer. Several screening tests for cervical cancer are available in different countries, but some tests can be challenging in settings with limited health infrastructure.
In 2013, the World Health Organization released a new guideline for the screening and treatment of cervical cancer, in which the treatment decision is based on screening tests performed. CDC is working with countries to strengthen screening programs and increase usage of standard tools and data for planning services.
Diabetes is a leading cause of death globally and can cause serious health complications, including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-limb amputations. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 90% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes around the world are type 2 diabetes. The main causes of type 2 diabetes are excess body weight and lack of physical activity. Studies show that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed through lifestyle changes like being more active, eating healthier, and losing 5-7% of one’s body weight.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aims to prevent type 2 diabetes through the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP), which reaches out to communities across the United States to promote healthy lifestyle changes. Research has shown that programs like this can reduce health care costs within two to three years.
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are a leading cause of premature death and disability in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). NCDs are associated with high productivity losses and healthcare costs, which can add strain on developing economies with limited healthcare systems. However, NCD prevention through “best buy” interventions can result in millions of lives saved from premature deaths and billions in economic output.
“Best buys” are a core set of evidence-based interventions identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as highly cost-effective, feasible, and appropriate to implement within the constraints of the local health system. These include measures to control tobacco and reduce harmful use of alcohol; strategies to promote a healthy diet and physical activity; scaled-up treatment of cardiovascular disease and diabetes; and prevention of certain cancers.
CDC collaborates with academic, governmental, and nongovernmental partners to generate evidence-based intervention strategies to tackle the leading causes of NCDs and their underlying risk factors. CDC coordinates an international network for NCD economics research with the purpose of furthering economic and policy evidence for NCD prevention and control globally.
Three billion people in low- and middle-income countries use solid fuels like wood, charcoal, animal dung, and crop waste for cooking as well as heating and lighting their homes. Long term exposure to smoke from these fuels has been shown to cause cataracts, birth defects, and premature death associated with childhood pneumonia, lung cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke. Reducing exposure to these fuels and introducing cleaner and safer cooking options is a critical investment in improving public health and the quality of life worldwide.
CDC works with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, ministries of health, and other partners to save lives, empower women, and protect the environment. Partners work collaboratively to monitor and evaluate health hazards caused by indoor air pollutants, and promote cleaner, safer, affordable and more efficient cooking technologies and fuels to low- and middle-income countries.
Global Hearts Initiative
Cardiovascular diseases are the world’s biggest killer, with 17.5M deaths each year caused by heart attack, stroke and heart failure. The Global Hearts Initiative seeks to improve prevention and control of heart diseases on a global scale by bringing together population-based prevention strategies in tobacco control (through MPOWER), salt reduction (through SHAKE) and primary care (HEARTS).
- MPOWER: assists in implementation of science-based interventions to reduce the demand for tobacco
- SHAKE: evidence-based examples to lower population salt consumption
- HEARTS: a strategic approach to strengthen primary care systems
The Global Hearts Initiative supports both prevention and treatment, and includes activities that can mobilize a country’s ability to tackle the heart disease crisis head-on. The technical packages promote change in both populations and healthcare systems, allowing for environments that empower individuals and communities to make informed choices about their health.
The Global Hearts Initiative unites the power of evidence-based interventions, that when combined achieve significant health improvements.
Vitamins and minerals are vital to human development, disease prevention, and well-being. Lack of necessary vitamins and minerals — known as malnutrition — can lead to birth defects, blindness, anemia, diarrhea, infections, and death. Good nutrition is especially important before and during pregnancy because a malnourished mother is at higher risk of giving birth to a low birthweight baby.
Established by CDC in 2000, the International Micronutrient Malnutrition Prevention and Control (IMMPaCt) Program works with global partners to contribute CDC expertise and resources to eliminate vitamin and mineral deficiency among vulnerable populations throughout the world. The CDC IMMPaCt Program has provided technical assistance, training, and funding to over 75 countries. CDC recommends the use of micronutrient powders — sachets of vitamins and minerals that can be mixed into any ready to eat semi-solid food (home fortification) to reduce micronutrient deficiencies among children six months of age and older.
Maternal mortality worldwide declined about 50% between 1990 and 2013; however, few countries with high maternal mortality rates have achieved the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of a 75% reduction in maternal mortality.
Although conditions have improved in many parts of the world, many women in developing countries still die in childbirth or from pregnancy-related causes. The vast majority of these deaths can be prevented through relatively low-cost interventions, like improving access to information and quality care before and after pregnancy, emergency care, and referral and transport services. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evaluates programs and helps track and understand the causes of maternal death through surveillance and data analysis.
Each year, high blood pressure is estimated to cause 10 million preventable deaths worldwide, and this is expected to increase. Referred to as the “silent killer” because it often has no warning signs or symptoms, hypertension is the leading risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, like heart attack and stroke.
Studies show that excess sodium intake — too much salt added to food — is a key risk factor for hypertension. Detection, treatment and control of hypertension is a major public health issue worldwide that cannot be ignored.
CDC is working with China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission and the Shandong provincial government on the Shandong Province & Ministry of Health Action on Salt and Hypertension (SMASH) project. SMASH aims to reduce daily salt intake from condiments and improve hypertension control within the province.
Food Fit: Philadelphia Chinese Takeout Initiative
- China CDC
- Shandong CDC
- World Health Organization