Developmental issues of non-communicable diseases risk factors in lower income countries

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Author: Joav Merrick
Page Range: 67-68
Published in: International Journal on Disability and Human Development, Volume 22 Issue 2
ISSN: 2191-1231

Table of Contents

Introduction

“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” (1).
The World Health Organisation (WHO) STEPwise approach to NCD risk factor surveillance (STEPS) is a simple, standardized method for collecting, analysing and disseminating data on key NCD risk factors in countries. The survey instrument covers key behavioural risk factors: tobacco use, alcohol use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, as well as key biological risk factors: overweight and obesity, raised blood pressure, raised blood glucose, and abnormal blood lipids. Through the use of expanded modules, the survey instrument can be expanded to cover a range of topics beyond these risk factors, such as oral health, sexual health and road safety” (2).
This special issue deals with cervical cancer screening, oral health status, intention to quit smoking, biological and behavioural NCD risk factors, yoga practice, low physical activity, dental service utilisation, dyslipidaemia, sedentary behaviour, soft drink consumption, non-work participation, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, and undiagnosed, diagnosed and total hypertension in ten countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bolivia, Ecuador, Eswatini, India, Jordan, Myanmar, and Tonga. It is hoped that findings from these papers may aid public policy and programmes for the prevention and control of NCD risk factors in lower income countries.

References

[1] World Health Organization. Non-communicable diseases, 2022. URL: https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/themes/noncommunicable-diseases.
[2] World Health Organisation. STEPwise approach to NCD risk factor surveillance (STEPS), 2022. URL: https://www.who.int/teams/noncommunicable-diseases/surveillance/systems-tools/steps.

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