Risk Dialogue Series - Health risk factors in rapidly changing economies
15 Oct 2014
Emerging markets have undergone a dramatic transformation over recent decades. They have typically developed from largely rural, agricultural societies to manufacturing and service providing urban powerhouses. Less publicised, but equally significant has been the shift in their health profiles. Emerging markets have been largely successful in ridding themselves of communicable diseases; only to be confronted by a pandemic of chronic, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) putting significant strain on health care systems. Public and private health care providers both need to develop effective responses to this pandemic.
This compendium features articles that analyse time trends and developments of key risk factors associated with the increasing prevalence of chronic, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) seen in major emerging markets around the world. The health profile of these countries is changing swiftly and significantly. As economies grow, as infectious diseases decrease, and as lifespan increases, there is an increase in NCDs. The incidence of cardiovascular diseases, stroke, diabetes, cancer, accidents, and mental health issues are rising rapidly, providing a major challenge for providers and funders of health care. The prevalence and costs to the health care system is a concern to insurers and public health officials alike.
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SEARCH, the Systematic Explanatory Analyses of Risk factors affecting Cardiovascular Health, is a joint collaboration between Swiss Re and the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). The articles presented in this compilation are by HSPH research fellows, HSPH faculty members, and Swiss Re colleagues. The extensive research conducted and summarised in the articles were conducted primarily during the 100th anniversary of HSPH and the 150th anniversary of Swiss Re.
We hope these papers provide insightful data and analyses into the major health trends confronting some of the most populous nations on the planet; we intend that these articles will inspire both private and public sectors to seek ways in which we can most effectively manage the NCD pandemic.
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