38 million people die annually from "lifestyle" diseases

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A young man smokes a cigarette in the streets of Timor-Leste. UN Photo/Martine Perre

Thirty-eight million people die annually from Non-Communicable Diseases like heart and lung disease, cancer and diabetes before they reach the age of 70, according to new data from the World Health Organizatio (WHO).

28 million deaths occur in developing countries alone, the agency notes.

According to WHO, Non-Communicable Diseases or NCDs share four risk factors which include tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets.

World leaders are meeting in New York to assess efforts made since 2011 in controlling and reducing the burden of these chronic or "lifestyle" diseases.

John Ashe is the President of the General Assembly.

"The reality we face and the one we need to address is that developing countries have the greatest vulnerability and the least resilience in preventing and controlling NCDs."

The WHO report which provides an updated overview of the situation including recent trends and government responses, shows that progress has been "insufficient and uneven".

The number of NCD deaths has increased worldwide and in every region since 2000, with the highest deaths found in South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions.

More than 190 governments have agreed to a WHO global action plan to halt the epidemic and reduce deaths from NCDs by 25 per cent by 2025.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’35″

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