Noncommunicable diseases cause 75% of global deaths and are increasing

Obesity increases the risk of other chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

The noncommunicable diseases are increasing steadily and are responsible for almost three quarters of deaths globally, without clear indicators that the trend will reverse soon unless substantial investments are made and effective and immediate measures are taken, warned this Friday the World Health Organization (WHO).

The agency added that, if kept at the same rate, chronic diseases will be a growing threat for future generations and estimated that, if they do not change their trajectory, they would cause 86% of annual deaths by mid-century.

In his annual report on World Health Statisticsthe WHO offers an overview of the main health problems and urges action to unravel progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

Impact of climate change

In addition to non-communicable diseases, the study highlights the impact that climate change has on health of people, especially the poorest and most vulnerable.

climate change continues degrading the environment and physical and mental health at an accelerated ratewhich poses enormous risks for everyone, he warns.

Prepared with data up to 2022, the document says that, although exposure to many health risks – such as tobacco or alcohol use, violence, unsafe water and poor sanitation – has decreased, progress has been inappropriate and other risks, such as atmospheric pollutionThey are still present in people’s lives.

Setbacks due to the pandemic

In a section dedicated to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO points out the great setback that it entailed in the race towards development goals, calculating the years of life lost at 336.8 million, an average of 22 years for each of the additional 14.9 million deaths.

It details that the pandemic slowed down the progress of many health indicators and exacerbated inequalities in access to medical care of quality, systematic vaccination and financial protection for health expenses.

As a result, the report continues, there was a interruption of primary health services At a global level, the positive trends in the fight against diseases such as tuberculosis were reversed and the number of people receiving treatment for neglected tropical diseases decreased.

The pandemic has also exposed and deepened the vast inequities that exist both between and within countries, including unequal access to COVID-19 vaccines. Populations with lower educational levels residing in low- and middle-income countries had a more limited and delayed access to immunizationand even today it remains less likely that they received the vaccine.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder that infectious diseases can emerge or re-emerge to cause harm to everyone,” the WHO stressed.

He added that infectious conditions that were previously under control can arise as a result of antimicrobial resistance.

On the other hand, he stressed the alarming incidence of obesitya rapidly growing public health problem with no sign of slowing down in the immediate future and leading to an increase in other chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

Far from universal health coverage

With regard to progress towards universal health coverage, the WHO reported that it has slowed down compared to the steps achieved up to 2015, regardless of the fact that the financial difficulties due to the costs of medical care.

The report, an annual review of the state of global health, concludes by calling for a substantial increase in investments in health and health systems “in order to return to the path that allows the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals”.

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Written by Editor TLN

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