Data Issues in the Study of Non-Communicable Disease Risk Factors among Youth in Low and Middle Income Countries

Laura Nolan Khan, Princeton University
Toshiko Kaneda, Population Reference Bureau (PRB)
Wendy Baldwin, Population Reference Bureau (PRB)
Lindsey Amato, Population Reference Bureau (PRB)

Chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) increasingly affect low- and middle-income countries, where they develop at younger ages and lower levels of development and result in poorer health outcomes than in richer countries. Reducing the preventable and premature burden of chronic disease risk factors among young people could save billions of dollars in care and treatment and improve population health and well-being throughout the life course. But insufficient and poor quality data on the four main modifiable NCD risk factors – tobacco use, alcohol use, sedentary lifestyle and poor diet – among young people in less developed countries makes the identification of trends, vulnerable populations and effective policies and programs to combat NCDs a challenge. Based on a large scale data compilation exercise, we present some of the most important data availability and quality issues, and ways in which the accessibility and consistency of NCD risk factor surveillance can be improved.

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Presented in Poster Session 7