Chronic Diseases Now a Global Problem

ATLANTA, Sept. 20 (UPI) — Global solutions are needed for the worldwide problem of chronic diseases — heart disease, cancer and diabetes — U.S. researchers say.

Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta say policymakers urgently need to stop the global spread of chronic diseases, which previously plagued developed nations, but now threaten the health and economies of developing nations as well.

The study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, shows the worldwide spread of chronic conditions — also known as non-communicable diseases — offers a unique opportunity for countries at all income levels around the globe to unite in efforts to find tangible solutions.

The researchers note chronic diseases account for 60 percent of all deaths worldwide rather than previously more prevalent infections or lack of nutrition.

“There is a unique opportunity now for global cooperation to tackle noncommunicable diseases,” Dr. K.M. Venkat Narayan, a study co-author, said in a statement. “In fact, unless non-communicable diseases are tackled, goals relating to child health and infectious diseases cannot be achieved nor can economic development be sustained.”

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