Global Perspectives on Improving Chronic Disease Prevention and Management in Diverse Settings

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Preventing Chronic Disease


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) definechronic diseases as conditions that last 1 year or more and that requireongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living,or both (1). Chronic diseases may be influenced by a combinationof genetics, lifestyle and social behaviors, health care systemfactors, community influences, and environmental determinants ofhealth (2). These risk factors often coexist and interact with eachother. Therefore, a better understanding of determinants of chronicdiseases such as tobacco use, unhealthy eating, and physical inactivitystands to benefit from effective strategies for improvingprimary, secondary, and tertiary disease prevention and managementin diverse global settings (3). Strategies to prevent and managechronic disease outcomes such as diabetes and cardiovasculardiseases (CVDs) have global commonalities (4–7). The impact ofchronic diseases is disproportionately evident in Black and Browncommunities (8,9). Chronic disease prevention and managementtypically focus on behavioral interventions such as healthy eating,increased physical activity, and cessation of unhealthy practicessuch as tobacco and alcohol use (10–15). In 2020, the COVID-19pandemic added to the fact that chronic diseases disproportionatelyaffect low-resource communities, where many Black andBrown populations live (16,17). COVID-19 demonstrated thatchronic disease disparities actually present as preexisting conditionsin Black and Brown communities, who are disproportionatelyaffected by COVID-19 outcomes. Although most of the articlesin this Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) collection were published before the pandemic, the insights they present, combinedwith the racial and ethnic data on the burden of COVID-19thus far, support this reality. Many researchers and public healthpractitioners often consider the need to sufficiently address the relationshipsbetween chronic diseases and social, behavioral, andcommunity factors (18). Global lessons in the prevention andmanagement of chronic diseases, therefore, can help researchersand practitioners benefit from the shared lessons and experiencederived from research and interventions conducted in differentparts of the world. There are more than 7 billion people worldwide,who speak diverse languages and who have different nationalities,identities, and health systems. Yet, if we share challengesand opportunities for chronic disease prevention and management,many of the global adversities to improving health and well-beingcan be ameliorated, which is the purpose of this collection. Theauthors in this collection share lessons that represent experiencesin diverse contexts across countries and regions of the world