NCD Countdown 2030: Pathways to Achieving Sustainable Development Goal Target 3.4
The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 3.4 is to reduce premature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by a third by 2030 relative to 2015 levels, and to promote mental health and wellbeing.
The researchers used data on cause-specific mortality to characterise the risk and trends in NCD mortality in each country and evaluate combinations of reductions in NCD causes of death that can achieve SDG target 3.4.
Among NCDs, ischaemic heart disease is responsible for the highest risk of premature death in more than half of all countries for women, and more than three-quarters for men. However, stroke, other cardiovascular diseases, and some cancers are associated with a similar risk, and in many countries, a higher risk of premature death than ischaemic heart disease.
Although premature mortality from NCDs is declining in most countries, for most the pace of change is too slow to achieve SDG target 3.4.
To investigate the options available to each country for achieving SDG target 3.4, the researchers considered different scenarios, each representing a combination of fast (annual rate achieved by the tenth best performing percentile of all countries) and average (median of all countries) declines in risk of premature death from NCDs.
Pathways analysis shows that every country has options for achieving SDG target 3.4.
- No country could achieve the target by addressing a single disease.
- In at least half the countries, achieving the target requires improvements in the rate of decline in at least five causes for women and in at least seven causes for men to the same rate achieved by the tenth best performing percentile of all countries.
- Tobacco and alcohol control and effective health-system interventions—including hypertension and diabetes treatment; primary and secondary cardiovascular disease prevention in high-risk individuals; low-dose inhaled corticosteroids and bronchodilators for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; treatment of acute cardiovascular diseases, diabetes complications, and exacerbations of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; and effective cancer screening and treatment—will reduce NCD causes of death necessary to achieve SDG target 3.4 in most countries.