Tag WHO Global Forum

World Health Organisation (WHO) classify chronic diseases as the biggest killers

A new report by the WHO has shown that the chronic health problems associated with post-industrial societies have spread to the developing world. Heart disease, diabetes and cancer are now thought to cause more deaths worldwide then any other diseases combined.

The report identified that these diseases are all preventable and that the major risk factors for disease were smoking, poor diet, alcohol use and insufficient physical activity. The report goes on to predict that by 2020 even the African countries will suffer more death through chronic disease than other transmissible diseases and poverty-related issues. The report concluded that a 15% increase in mortality from chronic diseases is expected worldwide in the next decade.

This 15% increase may be observed as the developing world closes the gap on the ‘developed world’ in terms of life expectancy leading to an increased risk in people suffering chronic disease. However this increase will still provide another major hurdle to worldwide health.

The report goes on to examine the economic cost of these chronic conditions. It estimates that 100 million people are driven into poverty every year by health care costs. There is a fair amount of worry about the cost that these diseases will bring to the world economy and respective health care systems in the future.

It seems as the world has started to overcome transmissible disease a new impending health crisis is looming with increased chronic disease prevalence with an ever increasingly ageing population. This report highlights the importance of research and education to help prevention of chronic disease at the primary level. Especially the most prevalent which are cardiovascular diseases and illnesses.

The WHO Global Forum is planning a follow-up report in 2013.