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The importance of chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) to global health has gained increased recognition since the early 1990s, and has been accompanied by calls for a stronger policy response. It is increasingly clear that aging populations, rising incomes, and increased exposure to risk factors are contributing to patterns of illness, disability and premature death due to NCDs that merit greater policy attention than they have received in the past. This report is an Agenda for Action in response to the growing economic, social and health problems posed by NCDs. The report has a dual purview: how to avoid the burden of NCDs as much as possible, and recognition of the need to prepare for the consequences of more NCDs associated with demographic change.

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