The Global Status of NCDs

Did you know that Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) disproportionately affect low- and middle-income countries: three quarters of NCD deaths – 28 million – occur in these settings? Whilst they are often associated with increasing age groups, the evidence shows 16 million NCD deaths occur before the age of 70. Of these “premature” deaths, four –fifths occurred in low- and middle-income countries.

The World Health Organization’s Global Status Report on Noncommunicable Diseases for 2014 is now publically available and tracks the world’s progress toward the nine voluntary targets outlined in the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases.



  1. A 25% relative reduction in risk of premature mortality from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, or chronic respiratory diseases
  2. At least 10% relative reduction in the harmful use of alcohol, as appropriate, within the national context
  3. A 10% relative reduction in prevalence of insufficient physical activity
  4. A 30% relative reduction in mean population intake of salt/sodium
  5. A 30% relative reduction in prevalence of current tobacco use in persons aged 15+ years
  6. A 25% relative reduction in the prevalence of raised blood pressure, according to national circumstances
  7. Halt the risk in diabetes and obesity
  8. At least 50% of eligible people receive drug therapy and counselling (including glycaemic control) to prevent heart attacks and strokes
  9. An 80% availability of the affordable basic technologies and essential medicines, including generics, required to treat major noncommunicable diseases in both public and private facilities

The infographic below summarizes the epidemiological landscape of the global NCD burden, in light of the Global Status Report and is an attempt to highlight the scale of the global problem.


































The Centre for Evidence-based Medicine (CEBM) recognises the need for greater capacity for the creation and use of high-quality evidence, especially in low-resource settings. Dylan Collins’ doctoral research work, in collaboration with the CEBM, is focusing on the implementation of WHO guidelines for the management of NCDs in low-resource settings.

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