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NCD Diseases to Become Major killer in Region

The World Health Organization () announced that non-communicable diseases (NCD) are expected to claim the lives of 25 million people across the region annually by 2015.

WHO Regional Director Hussein Gezairy said NCDs are currently responsible for over half of all deaths and over 60 per cent of the region’s disease burden, mainly in the form of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases.

At the opening of four simultaneous international diabetes and endocrinology conferences in the capital yesterday, Gezairy said this number is likely to increase despite the fact that NCDs are preventable and have identifiable risk factors.

Gezairy noted that over the next decade, the WHO projects the largest increase in deaths from NCDs to occur in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

According to figures he presented in a lecture following the opening of the conferences, 80 per cent of diabetes (type 2), and strokes are preventable, compared to 40 per cent of cancer cases.

In Jordan, prevention efforts remain disparate, according to Abdelkarim Khawaldeh, senior consulting endocrinologist and member of the Jordanian Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism (JSED).

The latest studies conducted in the Kingdom indicate that 40 per cent of Jordanians over the age of 40 suffer from diabetes as do 30 per cent of Jordanians between the ages of 25 and 40. Around three million Jordanians are expected to be affected by diabetes in 2050 unless serious steps are taken, National Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Genetics Director General Kamel Ajlouni said in a previous statement.

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