The third UN High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) on Sept 27, 2018, will review national and global progress towards the prevention and control of NCDs, and provide an opportunity to renew, reinforce, and enhance commitments to reduce their burden. NCD Countdown 2030 is an independent collaboration to inform policies that aim to reduce the worldwide burden of NCDs, and to ensure accountability towards this aim. In 2016, an estimated 40·5 million (71%) of the 56·9 million worldwide deaths were from NCDs. Of these, an estimated 1·7 million (4% of NCD deaths) occurred in people younger than 30 years of age, 15·2 million (38%) in people aged between 30 years and 70 years, and 23·6 million (58%) in people aged 70 years and older. An estimated 32·2 million NCD deaths (80%) were due to cancers, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes, and another 8·3 million (20%) were from other NCDs. Women in 164 (88%) and men in 165 (89%) of 186 countries and territories had a higher probability of dying before 70 years of age from an NCD than from communicable, maternal, perinatal, and nutritional conditions combined. Globally, the lowest risks of NCD mortality in 2016 were seen in high-income countries in Asia-Pacific, western Europe, and Australasia, and in Canada. The highest risks of dying from NCDs were observed in low-income and middle-income countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, and, for men, in central Asia and eastern Europe. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 3.4-a one-third reduction, relative to 2015 levels, in the probability of dying between 30 years and 70 years of age from cancers, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes by 2030-will be achieved in 35 countries (19%) for women, and 30 (16%) for men, if these countries maintain or surpass their 2010-2016 rate of decline in NCD mortality. Most of these are high-income countries with already-low NCD mortality, and countries in central and eastern Europe. An additional 50 (27%) countries for women and 35 (19%) for men are projected to achieve such a reduction in the subsequent decade, and thus, with slight acceleration of decline, could meet the 2030 target. 86 (46%) countries for women and 97 (52%) for men need implementation of policies that substantially increase the rates of decline. Mortality from the four NCDs included in SDG target 3.4 has stagnated or increased since 2010 among women in 15 (8%) countries and men in 24 (13%) countries. NCDs and age groups other than those included in the SDG target 3.4 are responsible for a higher risk of death in low-income and middle-income countries than in high-income countries. Substantial reduction of NCD mortality requires policies that considerably reduce tobacco and alcohol use and blood pressure, and equitable access to efficacious and high-quality preventive and curative care for acute and chronic NCDs.
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