What are the Most Commonly Occurring Chronic Diseases?
The most commonly occurring chronic diseases worldwide include cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, and diabetes mellitus. All of these chronic diseases are increasing, with the majority in developing countries, and are expected to increase substantially over the next two decades.
Cardiovascular disease is already the leading cause of mortality in developing countries and between 1990 and 2020 is expected to increase by 120% for women and 137% for men. These predictions include a near tripling of ischemic heart disease and stroke in Latin America, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa. In China, the world’s most populous country, age-specific death rates from the circulatory disease increased between 200% and 300% in the population aged 35 to 44 and more than 100% in the population aged 45 to 54 years, between 1986 and 1999. The cancer incidence increased by 19%, in developing countries, between 1990 and 2000. In China, the cancer rates increased between 100% and 200% in the population aged 35 to 44 and between 100% and 160% in those aged 45 to 54 years between 1986 and 1999. Death and disability secondary to chronic obstructive lung disease are increasing in most regions. The number of individuals with diabetes in 2000 was estimated at 17 million or 2.8% of the world’s population. Projections for 2030 estimate 366 million, or 6.5% of the world’s population, with 298 million living in developing countries.