The new face of comorbidities
Today, 85% of people dying from NCDs between ages 30 and 70 are in low-middle income countries (LMICs).
Many LMIC health systems continue to be influenced by global health funding and the shape of this has critical impacts on the health care available – or not available – for the growing number of people who are living with NCDs in LMICs.
Those with chronic illnesses are more likely to be hospitalised or die from COVID-19. The vast majority of those who died or became critically ill from COVID-19 had underlying health issues, most typically hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
HIV-positive people are more prone to heart disease and several malignancies. TB patients are more prone to diabetes and vice versa. Many pregnancies are affected by hypertension and gestational diabetes, which can have lifetime consequences for both mother and child. Cancers (9.3 million), respiratory diseases (4.1 million) and diabetes (1.7 million) account for the majority of NCD mortality (1.5 million). These four diseases cause nearly 80% of all NCD deaths under the age of 70.
In a recent groundbreaking promise made at the UN High-Level Meeting on AIDS, world leaders underlined the need to deliver better integrated services that encompass NCDs.