Kejvina Marku1, Alban Ylli1,2, Ervin Toci1,2, Bajram Dedja1, Gazmend Bejtja3, Xheladin Dracini2, Genc Burazeri2
1 Institute of Public Health, Tirana, Albania;
2 Faculty of Medicine, University of Medicine, Tirana, Albania;
3 World Health Organization office, Tirana, Albania.
Background: Non communicable diseases (NCDs) reduction is included among Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) adopted by United Nations in 2015, and in the Global Monitoring Framework (GMF) adopted by World Health Assembly in 2013. There is evidence of a significant change in the epidemiological profile of the Albanian population in the past three decades with a remarkable transition towards NCDs. Objective: We examine the burden of NCDs in Albania and progress towards the internationally set goals.
Methods: Indicators used for this work are those proposed by Global Monitoring Framework and adapted by Institute of Public Health (IPH). Selected groups of NCDs included cardiovascular diseases (CVD), cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases (CRD). Mortality, morbidity and risk factor prevalence data were systematically collected by IPH, INSTAT, and WHO. Additionally, most recent estimates of crude and age-standardized rates were retrieved from Global Burden of Diseases to assess the distribution and trends over time in the Albanian population, as well as cross-national comparisons with the neighbouring countries of South Eastern European regions.
Results: In Albania, over 94% of all deaths and about 85% of the overall disease burden are caused by NCDs. Although the crude mortality rate for most NCDs continues to be on increase, age-standardised death rates from CVDs, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes are showing a slight decrease trend during the last decade. High systolic blood pressure is the main risk factor with 33.30% of deaths (28.97% – 37.72%) and 16.94% of disability adjusted life years (14.6% – 19.58%) attributed to it.
Conclusions: Demographic change, coupled with changes in life style, tend to increase the burden of NCDs in Albania. The observed recent decrease in age-standardized mortality trends is still small and doesn’t guaranty the achievement of SDG goal; reduction by 2030, by one third of premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.
Keywords: non communicable diseases, mortality, risk factors.