Research Network Co-Chaired by Experts from RTI International, CDC and University of Illinois at Chicago Releases Collection of Articles on Non-Communicable Diseases

January 29, 2019

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — The International NCD Economics Research Network, a network of economists co-chaired by the independent, nonprofit research institute RTI International, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the University of Illinois at Chicago, has released a collection of articles on the economic reasons for prioritizing the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The collection was published in the open-access scientific journal PLOS ONE on Tuesday under the title “Economic Cases for NCD Prevention and Control: A Global Perspective.”

NCDs, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease, are responsible for seven out of every 10 deaths worldwide. While NCDs are often associated with aging in high-income countries, each year they are estimated to kill 15 million people between the ages of 30 and 69 years, more than 85 percent of them in low-and middle-income countries.

“NCDs lead to high health care costs and productivity losses, which in turn strain economies with limited health care systems and undermine social and economic development,” said Dr. Deliana Kostova, a lead economist focusing on global NCDs at CDC. “However, investments in effective NCD prevention and control could prevent millions of premature deaths and lead to billions gained in economic output.”

The newly released collection addresses economic evaluations of NCD interventions, NCD investment cases, socioeconomic distribution of risk behaviors and the economic impacts of NCDs on households, health systems and nations. By producing and sharing research on the economic burden of these diseases and cost-effective interventions, the International NCD Economics Research Network hopes to inform management strategies globally.

“Economists make an important contribution to advancing NCD prevention and control by demonstrating the high return on investment from NCD interventions across countries and globally,” said Dr. Rachel Nugent, Vice President for Global NCDs at RTI.  

The new collection adds to previous research done by the International NCD Economics Research Network. In December 2017, experts from the network published a supplement titled “Noncommunicable Disease Risk Factors in Developing Countries: Policy Perspectives” in the scientific journal Preventive Medicine.

A launch event for the new collection will be held on Friday, Feb. 1, as part of the Prince Mahidol Award Conference in Bangkok.

About the International NCD Economics Research Network
The International NCD Economics Research Network is a coalition of international academic, governmental, and nongovernmental partners co-chaired by experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, RTI International and the University of Illinois at Chicago, with the goal of promoting and disseminating research relevant to NCD prevention and control.