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Asia has 50 percent of the total world's burden of disease, countries vary on where they are on the economic development and epidemiologic transition spectrum. For example, Bangladesh and Nepal are at one end of the spectrum, while Taiwan and Singapore are at the other.

Leaving China aside for the moment because of its size, when we look at India and the rest of Asia--a heterogeneous group of 49 countries--we see that about 50 percent of this burden is from communicable diseases (such as diarrhea)
that could be prevented or reduced with better education
and improvements in the household environment or through simple treatments, like oral rehydration therapy. Another 40 percent is from noncommunicable diseases, such as cancer, cerebrovascular disease, and ischemic heart disease, that could be mitigated by decreases in tobacco use and changes in diet, while the final 10 percent is from other causes, such as injuries.