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Chronic diseases are giving heart attacks to low and middle income economies like Sri Lanka, says the World Health Organisation(WHO). Chronic diseases are giving heart attacks to low and middle income economies like Sri Lanka, says the World Health Organisation(WHO). Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death in the world and the death toll is mounting.

Approximately 17 million people die prematurely every year from the global epidemic of chronic disease.

WHO says a large majority of these deaths happen in low and middle income countries at huge cost to health care systems.

The world health watchdog says that “Contrary to common perception, this largely invisible epidemic is worst in low and middle income countries, where 80% of all chronic disease deaths occur,” says the WHO.

A WHO study notes that China, India and the Russian Federation could lose billions of dollars in national income, over the next 10 years, to the increasing trend of heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.

The estimated accumulated losses to China from 2005 to 2015, for example, are US$ 558 billion, for India US$ 236 b