Non-communicable diseases bigger burden than early deaths

• Disability caused by non-communicable diseases (NCD) and injuries have emerged as the largest contributor to the global disease burden, according to a new report by The Lancet released October 16, 2020.

• The findings of The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2019 again emphasises the fast emergence of NCDs as a global health challenge. This, even as countries seem to be performing well in controlling communicable diseases.

Highlights of report:

• Disability caused by NCD and injuries have emerged as the largest contributor to global disease burden.

• Deaths due to infectious diseases have fallen substantially.

India related findings:

• Air pollution, hypertension, tobacco use, poor diet and high blood sugar levels were the top-five risk factors for death in India in 2019.

About NCD:

• NCDs are medical conditions or diseases that are not caused by infectious agents.

• These are chronic diseases of long duration, and are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behaviours factors. These cause 71% of global deaths worldwide each year.

• Physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, tobacco use and the harmful use of alcohol are major risk factors.

• Major NCDs are cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes.

Steps taken by India:

• National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease and Stroke.

• India is the first country to adopt the National Action Plan with specific national targets and indicators aimed at reducing the number of global premature deaths from NCDs by 25% by 2025.

Mains Paper 2: Health

Prelims level: Non-communicable diseases

Mains level: Highlights of report relating to Non-communicable diseases

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