The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued country scorecards that record the prevalence of chronic illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The publication highlights the growth and distribution of such chronic diseases around the world, as well as how effective each country is being in dealing with the increase in people suffering from a range of conditions.
WHO stated that non-communicable diseases resulted in the death of over 36 million people in total in 2008, which was the most recent year that there is sufficient global data available for. Around a quarter of these mortalities were seen to be premature, in that they occurred in patients who were under the age of 60, and that most of them took place in poorer, less developed countries where it was more difficult to access the right drugs and treatments.
The report by the UN agency, which was published to coincide with the first United Nations summit on chronic diseases which is due to take place this week at the General Assembly in New York, also offered interactive maps that helped to pinpoint the differences between countries for the range of illnesses.
In addition, WHO said that attempts to reduce levels of cholesterol and blood pressure in the last few years are now having an impact on the prevalence of some of chronic ailments.

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