Chronic diseases, principally cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes, are all leading causes of global mortality and disability. These issues are grossly neglected on the global-health agenda.
The Lancet has launched a series of articles focused on chronic diseases. The five studies look at 23 low- and middle-income countries, where up to 80% of all chronic disease deaths take place. The researchers found that almost half of all the deaths were suffered by people less than 70 years old, in other words, people of working age, and this is having a detrimental effect on economic growth. In fact, the researchers estimated that $84 billion of economic production will be lost between 2006 and 2015 if nothing is done to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
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