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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Johns Hopkins: Poverty Increases Risk of Non-Communicable Diseases in Lower Income Countries

Poverty increases the risk of death and disability from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes in low- and middle-income countries, a new systematic review shows. Researchers also found evidence that developing an NCD increases the risk of falling into poverty in these countries.

Researchers conducted one of the first comprehensive systematic reviews to assess the relationship between poverty and non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries. Globally, NCDs contribute to more than two-thirds of all deaths and the majority of all early deaths and disability — four-fifths of these deaths due to NCDs occur in low- and middle-income countries.

Published April 4 in The Lancet, the paper is one of five in the journal’s Taskforce on NCDs and Economics special series. The research team for this paper was based at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

“Poorer and less educated people are suffering from what once were considered diseases of the rich. In higher income countries, we have known this was the case for some time. Relatively few resources, however, have been invested in this issue in lower income settings,” says Dr. David Peters, senior author and Edgar Berman Professor and chair of international health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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