Neglected Tropical Diseases as Hidden Causes of Cardiovascular Disease

There is a growing awareness of the importance of chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCDs) in the world’s low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Beginning in the 1990s, Murray and Lopez predicted a doubling of death rates due to cardiovascular disease in developing countries by 2020, while a substantial rise was also predicted by Leeder et al. Based on World Health Organization (WHO) predictions, 75% of the burden of cardiovascular disease is found in LMICs. Alarming increases have also been noted for other CNCDs in LMICs including cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes. In September 2011, a report by the World Economic Forum and the Harvard School of Public Health estimated the global economic burden of CNCDs over the next two decades to be US$47 trillion.

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