Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have an opportunity to curb a rising noncommunicable disease (NCD) epidemic in their countries by addressing NCD risk factors among young people. The four main NCDs—cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases—share four key risk factors: tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diets. These are all modifiable behaviors that are typically initiated or established during adolescence or young adulthood and set the stage for NCDs later in life. Young people in some LMICs already have high levels of these risk factors that are likely to rise further in the absence of action.

To bring attention to this critical public health issue and to support youth advocates, PRB produced a set of publications for three regions—Asia, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean—that highlight the importance of taking action now to address NCD risk factors among young people. Each publication set consists of a policy report, wall (display style) data sheet, and comprehensive data appendices that describe the scale and scope of NCDs and their risk factors in each region. The materials also present examples of promising policy and programmatic interventions for young people from selected countries and the latest available data on the four risk factors among young people for all countries in the region. In addition, PRB hosted publication launch events in Nairobi and Delhi. Each event was attended by more than 100 participants from a diverse group of stakeholders—including youth, health practitioners, and high-level government officials—to raise awareness about the topic and facilitate dialogue. 

Recent publications and events are:

An Asia Policy Report and Data Sheet: Young People Are Asia’s Key to Curbing the Rise of Noncommunicable Diseases

Asia has an opportunity to curb a rising NCD epidemic by addressing NCD risk factors among young people, according to a new set of PRB publications. 

An Asia Event:  Noncommunicable Disease Report Launch 

NCDs are the leading causes of deaths globally, including in Asia. The region faces a growing epidemic of cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases. On July 21, 2016, PRB hosted a regional event in New Delhi to launch a new package of publications—policy report, data sheet, and data appendix—on NCD risk factors among young people across Asia.

An Africa Datasheet and Policy Brief: Youth are Key to Tackling Noncommunicable Diseases in Africa

Establishing healthy behaviors among young Africans could help stem a looming regional epidemic of noncommunicable diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and chronic respiratory conditions, according to this PRB policy brief and data sheet with comprehensive data appendix.

A Latin America and Caribbean Datasheet: Noncommunicable Diseases in Latin America and the Caribbean: Youth Are Key to Prevention

This PRB data sheet, created as part of PRB's former IDEA project (funded by USAID), and in partnership with PAHO, provides a wealth of data for selected countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that document the prevalence of noncommunicable diseases, especially among the region's youth.

For more information contact Toshiko Kaneda, senior research associate: tkaneda@prb.org