Open Access A public health framework for chronic disease prevention and control

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Chronic noncommunicable diseases are leading causes of death and disability in many developing countries. Several low-income countries lack mortality and morbidity data and do not yet know their burden of noncommunicable diseases. Cost studies are scarce, but in middle-income countries such as those of Latin America and the Caribbean, the cost of illness not only represents much of the direct costs of medical care, but also has an impact on family disposable income. Studies have reported that in low-resource settings, given incomplete health coverage and partial insurance, out-of-pocket expenses are high. Persons with chronic conditions, in many instances, have to forego care because of their inability to pay. Poverty and chronic noncommunicable diseases have a two-way interaction. These conditions warrant attention from poverty-reduction programs. Evidence shows that to have an impact on the burden of chronic diseases, action must occur at three levels: population-wide policies, community activities, and health services. The latter includes both preventive services and appropriate care for persons with chronic conditions. A public health approach embodies a systems perspective, containing the continuum of prevention and control, from determinants to care. In this framework it is critical to identify and address interactions and interventions that connect between and among the three levels of action.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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