Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Come eliminare le malattie non comunicabili

SEATTLE – Negli ultimi 25 anni, grazie ad uno sforzo coordinato globale mirato a contrastare le malattie infettive, compresa la malaria, la tubercolosi, l’HIV/AIDS e la poliomelite, il tasso di mortalità infantile è stato ridotto del 50% mentre l’aspettativa media di vita è aumentata di più di sei anni. Inoltre, la percentuale della popolazione mondiale che vive in condizioni di estrema povertà è stata dimezzata. Questi sono risultati importanti che hanno tuttavia portato alla luce una nuova serie di sfide che devono esere affrontate urgentemente.

Con l’aumento della longevità e il cambiamento degli stili di vita, le malattie non comunicabili, come il diabete, le malattie cardiovascolari, il cancro e le malattie respiratorie, sono ora molto più diffuse e sono diventate di gran lunga la principale causa di morte a livello mondiale. Mentre nel 2014 circa 3,2 milioni di persone sono morte di malaria, tubercolosi o HIV/AIDS, più di 38 milioni di persone sono morte a causa delle malattie non comunicabili. E il numero di decessi continua ad aumentare.

Prendiamo in considerazione il diabete, una delle malattie non comunicabili in rapido aumento. Secondo un rapporto recente dell’Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanità nel 2012 il diabete ha provocato la morte di 1,5 milioni di persone, ovvero circa lo stesso numero dei decessi per tubercolosi. Ma mentre le morti per tubercolosi sono dimezzate dal 1990, l’impatto del diabete sta invece aumentando velocemente. Nel 1980, 108 milioni di persone avevano il diabete, una percentuale di circa una persona su 20. Oggi più di 400 milioni di persone, ovvero circa 1 su 12, soffrono di diabete.

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