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Diabetes one of the chronic illnesses that are the major global killers, says report

Thu, 28 Apr 2011

The increase in rates of diabetes, as well as cardiovascular diseases, has helped push chronic illnesses into becoming the main cause of deaths around the world, according to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

However, these conditions are now becoming much more prevalent in poorer countries, along with lifestyle illnesses impacted by risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol use.

With non-communicable diseases now being the leading cause of death, and with figures showing them to be on the rise, the report by the WHO highlights that over 36 million people died from conditions such as heart disease, cancers, strokes and diabetes in 2008. It also found that almost 80 per cent of these deaths happened in low- and middle-income countries.

Ala Alwan, assistant director-general for non-communicable diseases and mental health at the WHO, commented "These premature deaths are all the more tragic because they are largely preventable. This is a great loss, not just at an individual level, but also profoundly affect the family and a country’s workforce."

However, the international health agency claimed that millions of deaths could be prevented through an increase in policies that help promote action against chronic illnesses, including promoting a healthier diet, more anti-tobacco legislation, and pushing more physical activity, as well as improving access to better healthcare .
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