Global Health Observatory (GHO) data

Noncommunicable diseases (NCD)

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, are the leading cause of mortality in the world. This invisible epidemic is an under-appreciated cause of poverty and hinders the economic development of many countries. The burden is growing - the number of people, families and communities afflicted is increasing. Common, modifiable risk factors underlie the major NCDs. They include tobacco, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet, insufficient physical activity, overweight/obesity, raised blood pressure, raised blood sugar and raised cholesterol. The NCD threat can be overcome using existing knowledge. The solutions are highly cost-effective. Comprehensive and integrated action at country level, led by governments, is the means to achieve success.

fact buffet

Total NCD mortality

38 millionof the 56 million global deaths in 2012 were due to NCDs

Total NCD mortality

Premature NCD mortality

48%of NCD deaths in low- and middle-income countries in 2012 occurred before the age of 70

Premature NCD mortality

Risk factors

80%of premature heart disease, stroke and diabetes can be prevented.

Risk factors
  • Mortality/morbidity
    Mortality and morbidity due to cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes
  • Risk factors
    Tobacco, harmful use of alcohol, insufficient physical activity, unhealthy diet, raised blood pressure, overweight/obesity, raised cholesterol, raised blood sugar


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