Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) cause 63 percent of all cases of deaths in the world. That is equal to 36 million people per year. Nine million people die prematurely—before age 60—as a result of NCDs annually.
People from developing countries suffer the most: 90 percent of the people who die before age of 60 come from middle- and low-income countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that without prevention, 52 million people will die because of NCDs by 2030.
People are not the only ones affected by this development—economies also suffer. According to a WHO report, $236 billion of India's national income will be lost between 2005 and 2015 as a result of the growing incidence of NCDs.
Health experts say there are various reasons for the increase of NCDs: one is that even in middle- and low-income countries, life has changed, becoming become more and more similar to developed countries.
Apart from that, socio-economic class influences the disease risk. Poor diet and high tobacco and alcohol consumption occur more often among poorer people, habits which are responsible for the increase of NCDs worldwide. Lack of health insurance is another major concern.