Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and related risk factors are one of the major global challenges of the 21st century and are responsible for 71% of all deaths worldwide (1). More than 36 million people die annually as a result of NCDs, including 15 million people who die at a young age, between 30 and 70 years old (2). The burden continues to rise and has been one of the major public health challenges for all countries, including China. Behavioral risk factors interventions are considered the cornerstone of the prevention and control of chronic diseases. Substantial reduction of NCD mortality requires policies that considerably reduce tobacco and alcohol use and blood pressure, and provide equitable access to efficacious and high-quality preventive and curative care for acute and chronic NCDs (3).
In order to maintain people’s health and build a healthy China in a well-rounded way, China made a lot of efforts and issued several policies, plans, and national actions for the prevention and control of NCDs. China’s top legislature approved the country’s 14th Five-Year Plan (FYP), and called for “fully implementing the Healthy China Actions”, “strengthening prevention, early screening and comprehensive intervention of chronic diseases”, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to systematically review and summarize successful experiences, challenges, and strategies of China’s NCDs prevention and control, especially strategies for the prevention and control of behavioral risk factors for NCDs.
With the support of the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association (CPMA) and World Health Organization (WHO) China Representative Office, a study titled Research on National Action Strategies for Promoting Population-Based Prevention and Control of Behavioral Risk Factors for NCDs was implemented from August to December 2021. The objectives of this study were to systematically review the development and implementation of NCD prevention and control policies and strategies in China over the past 30 years, to summarize China’s practices and successful experiences in preventing and controlling behavioral risk factors for NCDs, and to analyze and compare them with the “Best buys” interventions recommended by WHO, and to put forward action strategies on future NCDs prevention and control. The study team consists of dozens of experts and scholars in related fields. According to but not bound to the research plan, they applied new methods and explored new ideas, systematically reviewed and analyzed a large amount of literature and research information, and organized several discussions and expert consultations to continuously improve the research.
This issue of China CDC Weekly contributes important evidence and promotes discussion on national action strategies for promoting population-based prevention and control of behavioral risk factors for NCDs. The first paper describes a systematic review and evaluation of policies for the prevention and control of NCDs and behavioral risk factors in China (4). The second paper is about the evaluation of the implementation of strategies for population-based prevention and control of behavioral risk factors for NCDs (5). The third paper discusses the evaluation of the implementation of strategies for the individual-based intervention of behavioral risk factors for NCDs (6). Together, these three studies present empirical evidence to evaluate national action strategies and actions for the prevention and control of behavioral risk factors for NCDs in the Chinese population. Based on the findings, we made recommendations and future direction for national actions and strategies for population-based prevention and control of behavioral risk factors for NCDs (7).
We sincerely thank all the organizations and individuals who have provided consultation and support for the implementation of this study and the preparation of the report. We want to thank the CPMA for providing all-around support for the implementation of the project. We also want to thank the WHO China Representative Office for the financial support. However, in view of the tight research schedule, the limited capacity of the research team and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there must be room for improvement in this research report. Therefore, it is far from enough to evaluate national action strategies and actions for the prevention and control of behavioral risk factors for NCDs in the Chinese population based solely on this report.