Noncommunicable diseases and their risk factors

Third United Nations High-level Meetings on NCDs

Together let's beat NCDs: preparing for the third UN High-level Meeting on NCDs, 2018.
WHO

24 November 2017 -- Preparations are ongoing for the UN General Assembly third High-level Meeting on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). The event will review global and national progress to protect people from dying too young from heart and lung diseases, cancers and diabetes.

Tenfold increase in childhood and adolescent obesity in four decades

A young obese girl, eating hamburger
WHO

11 October 2017– The number of obese children and adolescents (aged five to 19 years) worldwide has risen tenfold in the past four decades. If current trends continue, more children and adolescents will be obese than moderately or severely underweight by 2022, according to a new study led by Imperial College London and WHO. Children and adolescents have rapidly transitioned from mostly underweight to mostly overweight in many middle-income countries, including in East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

WHO to establish high-level commission on noncommunicable diseases

10 October 2017 - Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), announced today the establishment of a new High-level global Commission on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs). The announcement came at the 64th Session of WHO’s Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean being held in Islamabad, 9-12 October.

70th World Health Assembly adopts resolution endorsing update of Appendix 3

On 31 May a resolution was adopted endorsing an updated list of evidence-based and cost-effective interventions for the prevention and control of NCDs. The list, featured as Appendix 3 of the WHO Global action plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases 2013-2020, was revised based on new evidence using WHO-CHOICE. From a total of 88 proposed interventions, the updated Appendix 3 contains 16 interventions which are considered the most cost-effective and feasible for implementation. Among them are enacting and enforcing comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising; increasing excise taxes on alcoholic beverages; reducing salt intake through the reformulation of food products; offering drug therapy and counselling to those who have had a heart attack or stroke; vaccinating girls aged 9-13 years against human papillomavirus; and screening women aged 30-49 years for cervical cancer.

ECOSOC’s latest Task Force resolution calls for more investment in NCDs

The UN Interagency Task Force on NCDs logo over an image from an ECOSOC meeting.
UN Television

7 June 2017 -- To accelerate global and national responses to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has called for greater financing to respond to the global epidemics of heart and lung diseases, cancers and diabetes, including providing sufficient resources for the work of the UN NCD Task Force.

What are noncommunicable diseases and their risk factors?

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease, are collectively responsible for almost 70% of all deaths worldwide. Almost three quarters of all NCD deaths, and 82% of the 16 million people who died prematurely, or before reaching 70 years of age, occur in low- and middle-income countries. The rise of NCDs has been driven by primarily four major risk factors: tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets.

Explore WHO’s work on preventing, managing and coordinating action to prevent and control NCDs through this website.

Prevention of noncommunicable diseases

Reducing the major risk factors for noncommunicable diseases – tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet and the harmful use of alcohol – is the focus of WHO’s Department for the Prevention of NCDs.

Management of noncommunicable diseases

NCDs – including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes – kill 38 million people every year. Prevention of NCDs is important. However, investing in better management is the other key component of the NCD response.

Surveillance of noncommunicable diseases

Public health monitoring or surveillance activities comprise the regular collection of health information in terms of health indicators, the routinely analysis of indicators over time, place and between population groups, sharing of available scientific knowledge as well as the regular dissemination of results.

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