NCD Facts

Noncommunicable - or chronic - diseases are diseases of long duration and generally slow progression. The four main types of non-communicable diseases are cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke), cancer, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes.

Noncommunicable diseases, or NCDs, are by far the leading cause of death in the world, representing 63% of all annual deaths. Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) kill more than 36 million people each year. Some 80% of all NCD deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries

Key facts

  • Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) kill more than 36 million people each year.
  • Nearly 80% of NCD deaths - 29 million - occur in low- and middle-income countries.
  • More than nine million of all deaths attributed to NCDs occur before the age of 60; 90% of these "premature" deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Cardiovascular diseases account for most NCD deaths, or 17.3 million people annually, followed by cancers (7.6 million), respiratory diseases (4.2 million), and diabetes (1.3 million1).
  • These four groups of diseases account for around 80% of all NCD deaths.
  • They share four risk factors: tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets.