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Dr. Nabel on the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases.

We're delighted to announce the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases because it is the first of its kind alliance to specifically bring national efforts together on a global scale to call attention to the chronic diseases, to support research and training programs, and to really develop effective solutions to preventing and treating chronic diseases on a global scale.

The Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases is a public-private partnership with national research funding agencies around the world to fund research focused on reducing the burden of chronic diseases in developing countries. The alliance will focus on the chronic, noncommunicable diseases in low- to middle-income countries, and low-income populations of the more developed countries, to support collaborative, coordinated research on low-cost interventions, and to build capacity in research and health care delivery. Six of the world's foremost health agencies, collectively managing an estimated 80 percent of all public health research funding, have announced formation of a landmark alliance to collaborate on so-called lifestyle diseases that are causing a growing rate of illness, disability, and premature death every year.

We strongly believe that the alliance will grow to embrace more public and private organizations around the world who are committed to fighting chronic diseases. Founding members of the alliance agree on four priorities for early studies that reflect the goals of the funding organizations and the alliance, and these priorities address important health challenges in the develop[ing] countries. The four priorities are: first, large, international clinical trials of the polypill for heart disease; second, public health measures to control obesity; third, risk factors and control measures for chronic lung disease; and fourth, implementation research for interventions in all of these areas.

Chronic diseases know no boundaries. They affect individuals in every part of the globe: the young, the elderly, the rich, the poor, every ethnic group. But particularly, chronic diseases affect individuals in the prime of their lives, when they're most productive and contributing most to the economic success of a country. So for an individual with obesity, diabetes, [or] high blood pressure to sustain a heart attack or a stroke in their 40s, 50s, or 60s, when they are still contributing, productive members of society, renders a huge economic and social toll on a country. That's why finding solutions to the prevention and treatment of... chronic diseases worldwide will only enhance country productivity, and lead to greater economic and social success within that country.

Last Updated: August 27, 2012

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