A global database on the prevalence of risk behaviors among youth for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) highlights the need to focus on young people to tackle the growing NCD epidemic—especially in low- and middle-income countries.
Population Reference Bureau (PRB), with support from the AstraZeneca Young Health Programme, today launched the Youth and NCDs Data Center, an interactive data and visualization tool focusing on the four key risk factors for NCDs among youth: tobacco use, alcohol use, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity. The data cover more than 200 countries.
Adoption of the key risk behaviors by young people often sets the stage for them to develop debilitating NCDs later in life, such as cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and chronic respiratory diseases. NCDs are already the leading causes of death in every world region except sub-Saharan Africa, and they are expected to be the leading causes of death in that region by 2030.
“NCD risk behaviors are projected to increase further in many low- and middle-income countries due to rapid social and economic changes and sustained efforts by tobacco and alcohol beverage companies to target their products to youth in those countries,” said Toshiko Kaneda, a senior research associate at PRB and project director for the Youth and NCDs Data Center.
“The Data Center will help policymakers and others monitor risk behavior trends around the world and inform effective responses to this growing public health problem,” Kaneda added.
The database includes prevalence data by country for the four NCD risk factors, as well as several mental health indicators from the Global School-Based Student Health Survey, the Global Youth Tobacco Survey, and the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children Study. PRB will update the Data Center periodically and add data from other sources. The Data Center website also includes a digital feature that provides detailed background information on the four key NCD risk behaviors among youth.
PRB has collaborated with the AstraZeneca Young Health Programme since 2015 to produce regional reports on youth and NCDs in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean. The Youth and NCDs Data Center covers countries from these regions, Europe, and North America