Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, and mental health disorders, are not transmissible from person to person. They are the world’s biggest killer. In fact, 74% of global deaths are attributable to NCDs.

Cardiovascular diseases account for most NCD deaths, or 17.9 million people annually, followed by cancers (9.3 million), respiratory diseases (4.1 million), and diabetes (1.5 million). These 4 groups of diseases account for over 80% of all premature NCD deaths.

Driven largely by five main modifiable risk factors – tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, harmful use of alcohol and air pollution ‑ NCDs are a major cause (and consequence) of poverty and a barrier to economic and social development.

Each year, 15 million people die from a NCD between the ages of 30 and 69 years; over 85% of these "premature" deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Four out of five people with an NCD live in an LMIC, constraining the bottom billion in chronic poverty. The prevention and control of NCDs is more than a health issue ‑ it’s an urgent development issue!

See the NCD website for more in-depth information on NCDs.