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Curbing world's most fatal diseases: consensus created by health experts offers global prescription
Date:11/21/2007

Several of the worlds most eminent health scientists and organizations today publish a landmark global consensus on the 20 foremost measures needed to curb humanitys most fatal diseases, their study featured in Nature magazine.

Known as chronic, non-communicable diseases, they are reaching world epidemic proportions and include cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke), several cancers, chronic respiratory conditions, and type 2 diabetes.

In their paper for Nature, the 19 authors (list appended) say chronic non-communicable diseases:

  • Cause the greatest share of death and disability worldwide;
  • Account for over 60% of deaths worldwide, four-fifths of those fatalities being citizens of low and middle income countries;
  • Cause twice as many deaths as the combined total of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, maternal and peri-natal conditions, and nutritional deficiencies.

Researchers used the structured consensus-building Delphi technique to create the Grand Challenges in Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (CNCDs) a distillation of informed opinions drawn from 155 panel members across 50 nations, carefully selected from recommendations.

Study authors say the result is an authoritative list of the 20 most important challenges today to restraining and reversing the toll of these slow killer illnesses. The list of Grand Challenges is accompanied by research priorities for meeting them, drawn from the study data and finalized by 27 leading world health figures guiding the project (list appended).

CNCDs, defined by the WHO as cardio-vascular disease, type 2 diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases and certain cancers, are largely preventable. Its estimated that eliminating key risk factors (poor diet, physical inactivity, smoking) would prevent 80% of heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes, and over 40% of cancer cases.

The initiatives leaders say their goals are to galva
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Contact: Terry Collins
terrycollins@rogers.com
416-538-8712
Program on Life Sciences, Ethics and Policy,McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health  
Source:Eurekalert

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