Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – including cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, and mental health and neurological disorders (such as Alzheimer’s disease) – are a major chal-lenge to health and human development in the 21st century. NCDs are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide, accounting for 34.5 million of the 52.8 million deaths in 2010 (65%). With 23 million of these deaths (80%) occurring in the poorest countries, NCDsexact a heavy and growing toll on physical health, economic security,and human development. Driven in large part by widespread exposure to four common modifiablerisk factors across the lifecourse – tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and the harmful use of alcohol – NCDs perpetuate and entrench poverty within households and communities. This HEALTH POLICY IN NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES (NCDs) provides an analysis ofthe political, social, economic, epidemiological and clinical impact of theNCDs in the National and Local Health System. HEALTH POLICY IN NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES (NCDs) is published quarterly and is freely available online at This publication is also available in English and Italian.
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