Smoking on the rise in Indonesia, and other recent WHO NCD findings
By Ian Anderson
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently identified ten threats to global health in 2019. This blog focuses on one of the ten: non-communicable diseases, or NCDs. The data in this blog draws on the latest estimates produced by WHO in their just released NCD Country Profiles 2018.
NCDs – primarily cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases – are a major health challenge in the Asia-Pacific region for three reasons.
First, there were just over 20 million NCD-related deaths among the 24 LMICs in the Asia Pacific region for which data is available. Latest estimates per country are available here, including for Australia and New Zealand for comparison.
Second, NCDs now account for more than half of all deaths in 23 of the 24 LMICs in the region for which estimates are available in 2016: only in Timor Leste do NCDs account for less than half of total deaths (46 per cent). 11 LMICs in the Asia Pacific region have rates of NCD deaths higher than the global average. The graph here shows the relative importance of NCDs as a share of total deaths for each LMIC in the Asia Pacific region for which estimates are available.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, are the high rates of premature deaths (defined by WHO as death between 30 – 70 years) caused by NCDs in the region. Premature deaths are significant from a broader policy perspective because they involve loss of young parent(s) in families and reductions in the working age population and hence economic outcomes and revenue. The graph here ranks the WHO estimates for the probability of a premature death for each of the 24 LMICs in the region. The probability ranges from a high of 31 …read more