Perspective

Double Burden of Noncommunicable and Infectious Diseases in Developing Countries

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Science  21 Sep 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6101, pp. 1499-1501
DOI: 10.1126/science.1223466

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Abstract

On top of the unfinished agenda of infectious diseases in low- and middle-income countries, development, industrialization, urbanization, investment, and aging are drivers of an epidemic of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Malnutrition and infection in early life increase the risk of chronic NCDs in later life, and in adult life, combinations of major NCDs and infections, such as diabetes and tuberculosis, can interact adversely. Because intervention against either health problem will affect the other, intervening jointly against noncommunicable and infectious diseases, rather than competing for limited funds, is an important policy consideration requiring new thinking and approaches.

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