1114 GMT August 18, 2019
These are the findings of the most detailed global analysis of deaths from so-called non-communicable disease (NCDs) — chronic conditions including cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes, medicalxpress.com wrote.
The research, led by Imperial College London, World Health Organization and NCD Alliance, reveals that a 30-year-old woman in the UK has a nine percent chance of dying from four key NCDs — cancer, cardiovascular disease (which includes heart disease and stroke), chronic respiratory disease and diabetes — before her 70th birthday, compared to a 12 percent chance for a woman living in the US, and six percent for a woman living in Japan. Meanwhile a 30-year-old man living in the UK has a 13 percent chance of dying from an NCD before age 70, compared to 11 percent for a man living in Switzerland, and 18 percent for a man living in the US.
The analysis, published today in The Lancet, also revealed the majority of the world's nations—including the UK, US and China — look likely to fall short of the United Nations (UN) target for reducing the number of premature deaths from NCDs.
Professor Majid Ezzati, from Imperial's School of Public Health, who led the study, said: "Non-communicable diseases are the main cause of premature death for most countries. Poverty, uncontrolled marketing of alcohol and tobacco by multinational industries, and weak health care systems are making chronic diseases a larger danger to human health than traditional foes such as bacteria and viruses."
Too many people dying too soon
Non-communicable diseases kill nearly 41 million people a year, making up seven out of ten deaths globally, 17 million of these deaths are classed as premature (i.e. before the age of 70).
The new research is published ahead of a key UN meeting on NCDs next week. In 2015, the UN set the goal of a one-third reduction in premature deaths (between the ages of 30 and 70 years) from four key NCDs — cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes — by the year 2030.
The group behind this research, who are collectively known as NCD Countdown 2030, warn that their findings suggest the UN target will be missed in all but 35 nations for women and 30 nations for men.
The study also reveals men and women in most countries around the world have a higher risk of dying prematurely from NCDs than from infectious diseases such as malaria or HIV.
US, UK and China falling short
The researchers analyzed data on deaths from NCDs for more than 180 nations. Their findings revealed the lowest risks of dying early from NCDs were seen in high income countries, especially in South Korea, Japan, Switzerland and Australia.
But other high-income countries are lagging behind the leaders, including the UK (which ranks 17th for men, 27th for women), the US (53rd for men, 44th for women) and China (80th for men, 76th for women).
Overall, women in South Korea, Japan, Spain and Switzerland were least likely to die prematurely from the four key NCDs. The countries with the lowest risk for men were Iceland, Switzerland, Sweden and Norway.
In contrast, men in central Asia (Mongolia, Kazakhstan) and eastern Europe (Russia, Belarus) were among the most likely to die from the four key NCDs before the age of 70. For women, parts of sub-Saharan Africa (Sierra Leone, Côte d'Ivoire), Guyana, Afghanistan, Yemen and Papua New Guinea were among those with the greatest risk of premature death from the four key NCDs.
The study reveals that only 35 countries are on track to meet the UN target for women and only 30 countries for men.