Chronic Illness

The wealthiest industrial countries are in a grip of a diagnosed chronic disease pandemic, costing hundreds of billions in expensive (and highly profitable) patented pharmaceutical medicines, as well as countless billions in medical and hospital care. 84% of deaths in wealthy countries are attributed in some way to chronic diseases. The health industry of wealthy countries now report that upwards of 1 in 2 of all adults have been diagnosed with one (or more) chronic disease. While poorer countries still account for only about 40% of all deaths coming from chronic disease such as diabetes, cancer or cardiovascular diseases, the numbers are rapidly rising.

Key Facts

  • 1 in 2 of all people in industrialised countries have been diagnosed with one or more chronic disease;
  • Diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease account for most deaths in rich countries;
  • 84% of deaths in wealthy countries attributed to chronic illnesses;
  • 40% of all deaths in developing countries from chronic illness.


Key Actions