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The World in Medicine
June 10, 1998

Global Disease Priority

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JAMA. 1998;279(22):1771. doi:10.1001/jama.279.22.1771-JWM80003-3-1

The World Health Organization (WHO) has targeted noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) for new risk-reduction strategies.

During a meeting last month in Geneva, Switzerland, the WHO's World Health Assembly adopted a resolution to work toward reducing the burden of NCDs such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and others through programs in health promotion, disease prevention, early detection, improved treatment, and rehabilitation.

Worldwide, WHO officials said, NCDs are responsible for 40% of all deaths in developing nations and 75% of deaths in industrialized countries. In addition to claiming lives, many are disabling and costly to treat. Treatment of diabetes accounts for 8% of health care budgets in developed nations, the WHO said.

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