Alcohol and Non-communicable diseases (NCD)

In 2011 the United Nations High Level Meeting on NCDs demonstrated a global consensus around the need to develop and implement prevention strategies and control the disease burden related to alcohol and three other major health-risk factors: tobacco, unhealthy foods, and lack of physical exercise. The four disease categories addressed by the UN’s NCD initiative include cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, and diabetes. Although NCDs are commonly perceived as problems of more wealthy countries, a significant portion of the disease burden from NCDs actually occurs in low- and middle-income countries. 

Download a brief about NCDs and alcohol

NCD Global Status Report 2014

New NCD report:

Number of premature and avoidable NCD deaths on the rise

World Health Organization (WHO) has released a new Global Status Report on Nonommunicable Diseases (NCDs). The report states that most premature NCD deaths are preventable. Of the 38 million lives lost to NCDs in 2012, 16 million or 42% were premature and avoidable – up from 14.6 million in 2000.

21. January 2015

New cancer code:

Alcohol use a significant cancer risk factor

The International Agency for Research on Cancer and the European Commission has released an updated 4th edition of the European Code Against Cancer. The Code points at alcohol use as one of the significant risk factors. Still public awareness around this link is alarmingly low.

15. December 2014
Front page

UNDP Discussion Paper:

Addressing the Social Determinants of Noncommunicable Diseases

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has recently issued a Discussion Paper titled "Addressing the Social Determinants of Noncommunicable Diseases". It offers a typology of multisectoral action on NCDs and a framework for actors outside the health sector to take action.

20. November 2013
WHA Dr

World Health Organization to tackle non-communicable disease

The 66th World Health Assembly opened in Geneva today. One of the main issues is how the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCD) will be handled in the future. Referring to the difference between malaria and NCDs the Director General of WHO, Dr. Margaret Chan, in her opening speech stated that “Mosquitoes do not have front groups, and mosquitoes do not have lobbies.”

20. May 2013
Aaron Motsoaledi 160p

The new tsunami of non-communicable diseases:

- Prevention is the only viable policy option

“We experience a tsunami of new non-communicable diseases. We have got no option. We must put our efforts into prevention by promoting healthy lifestyles”. With these words the South African Minister of Health, Hon Aaron Motsoaledi opened the a WHO meeting on NCDs in Johannesburg.

10. April 2013

New web site on alcohol and cancer

Experts have known since 1987 that alcohol can cause cancer, but the connection between the two is often unknown or ignored, both by the general public and by health professionals and NGOs. To compensate for this Eurocare and the Association of European Cancer Leagues have now launched a web resource on alcohol as a risk factor for cancer.

See the new web site here.

26. September 2012
UN High Level Meeting

UN adopts declaration on non-communicable diseases

The United Nations High Level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases in New York recently adopted a Political Declaration calling for greater measures at global, regional and national levels to prevent and control NCDs.

26. September 2011
Addiction cover

Journal Addiction calls for action on alcohol and NCD

An editorial by Robin Room, Jürgen Rehm and Charles Parry in the journal Addiction points to the September High Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly as an occasion to remedy the relative lack of action on alcohol in reducing the burden of Non Communicable Diseases (NCD).

17. August 2011

Lack of clarity on role of industry for UN NCD meeting

NGOs express concern over conflict of interest

79 NGOs from various sectors have issued a statement of concern to the President of the UN General Assembly. The NGOs are concerned about the lack of clarity of roles for the industry sector in the recently held UN interactive hearing for civil society and the UN High Level Meeting on non-communicable diseases (NCD) in September.

23. June 2011

Global Alcohol Policy Alliance brief:

Addressing harmful use of alcohol is essential to realising the goals of the UN Political Declaration non-communicable diseases (NCDs)

Leading up to the UN High Level Meeting on Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (NCD), the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance has issued a brief positioning alcohol firmly in the NCD agenda.

05. May 2011