BEIJING, Feb. 1 -- Chronic disease is a crisis not only crippling people but it is also crippling economies. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 60 percent of deaths worldwide in 2005 were due to chronic diseases.
Furthermore, according to the US Center for Disease Control, chronic disease accounts for roughly 75 percent of health care costs in the United States each year.
Heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and obesity are traditionally seen as the scourge of the developed world. What is not yet properly understood is that death rates from chronic diseases are increasingly higher in developing countries, with dramatic effects on loss of national income, robbing families of breadwinners and draining communities of needed expertise.