Image credits: Alterfines
/
News Article

Noncommunicable Diseases Cost Millions of Lives Per Year

By Rodrigo Andrade | Wed, 08/17/2022 - 12:19

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) affect people from all age groups and regions. These chronic diseases are the leading cause of mortality and disability around the world, causing over 31.4 million deaths annually. Almost 85 percent of those deaths occur in low and middle- income countries and are the result of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioral factors that have been accelerated due to rapid unplanned urbanization, unhealthy lifestyles and population ageing.

The pandemic shifted the criteria and priorities of the health sector, causing health systems to overlook the long-term outcomes of NCDs and their prevention in favor of treating COVID-19. Investment in prevention and management is key, as in low-resources zones, the cost of treating NCDs is a critical problem, forcing millions into poverty and stifling development.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), recently highlighted the growing rates of obesity, one of the biggest risk factors for developing NCDs. About 73 percent of Mexicans are overweight, one of the highest ratios in the OECD. About 34 percent of the Mexican population is morbidly obese, which forecasts a life expectancy reduction of four years in the next 30 years, the highest reduction forecasted by the organization. Childhood obesity has also doubled between 1996 and 2016 from 7.5 percent to 15 percent.

NCDs also have a large effect on the economy, so prevention policies represent an excellent investment, according to the OECD. “For every MX$1 (US$ 0.05) Mexico invests in obesity prevention, it could achieve a return of up to MX$6 (US$ 0.30) in GDP.” A 20 percent calorie reduction in foods that are high in calories, salt, sugar and saturated fat could prevent 1.4 million NCDs by 2050, while also increasing productivity by the equivalent of 71,000 full-time workers every year, according to the organization.

Collaboration between the public and private health sectors is needed to tackle this issue. “Collaborations such as the one achieved in the pandemic, helped to combine healthcare workers, infrastructure, medicines and devices in a timely manner, which is the only way to truly achieve healthcare access for everyone,” said Héctor Valle, Executive President, FunSalud.

The rising rates of obesity and NCDs will be addressed in Mexico Health Summit 2022 ECHO. Hosted by Mexico Business from Aug. 31 to Sep. 2, the event will feature industry leaders to discuss the latest trends impacting one of the most important sectors for the country’s economy.

Join the conversation in closing attention gaps for noncommunicable diseases with Olga Martínez from IMSS, David Kershenobich, Héctor Valle from FunSalud and Patrick Devlyn from CCE as speakers, and Gabriela Zuñiga from Stendhal Pharma.

Do not miss the opportunity to get the insights of the Mexican health industry directly from the leaders who are transforming the sector. Tickets for the summit are available here. Join the future of B2B conferences now!

Photo by:   Alterfines
Rodrigo Andrade Rodrigo Andrade Junior Journalist & Industry Analyst