||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.