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WHO/UN define NCDs as: "cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and common cancers—but many neurological, rheumatological, and psychiatric conditions"
In the BMJ, there has been a mini debate between Iona Heath and Richard Smith about they way to tackle NCDs.
Richard Smith favours the preventative approach by targetting the problem early, whilst Iona Heath says we shouldn't be so eager to identify patients before they're patients - favouring the treatment approach.
The number of people with NCDs, particularly in the West is increasing, and Smith claims that a lot of what needs to be done in this area is in fact outside the medical profession. Creating environments and conditions where people can make healthy decisions is not just down to doctors giving advice but governments and companies nudging people in a healthy direction.
But the crux of this particular debate seems to be how much time and effort should be spent in preventing NCDs versus treating NCDs.
What do you think is the priority?