NCD mortality and morbidity
Of 57 million global deaths in 2008, 36 million, or 63%, were due to noncommunicable diseases. The four main NCDs are cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic lung diseases. The burden of these diseases is rising disproportionately among lower income countries and populations. In 2008, nearly 80% of noncommunicable disease deaths -- 29 million -- occurred in low- and middle-income countries with about 29% of deaths occurring before the age of 60 in these countries.
The leading causes of NCD deaths in 2008 were cardiovascular diseases (17 million deaths, or 48% of all NCD deaths), cancers (7.6 million, or 21% of all NCD deaths), and respiratory diseases, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (4.2 million). Diabetes caused another 1.3 million deaths.