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Western Pacific Faces Toll from 'Lifestyle' Diseases

Western Pacific countries, a region made up of 37 countries ranging from Mongolia in the north to New Zealand in the South, are facing an increasing economic toll from preventable illnesses. Strokes, heart disease and diabetes, are all on the rise, and 75 percent of deaths in the region are now due to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).

The number of deaths from NCDs caused by smoking, unhealthy diets and lack of exercise has increased steadily over the past decade. Lost productivity between 2005 and 2015 will cost China over $550 billion.

Reuters reports:

“Half of the 26,500 people who die daily from NCDs in the region are under 70 years of age and classified as economically productive. The growing problem of NCDs would require countries to look at how to spend their health budgets more effectively.”

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