Table of Contents: December 2012

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are most often defined as chronic medical diseases including cardiovascular diseases (heart disease and stroke), cancer, chronic respiratory diseases (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma), and diabetes. NCDs are responsible for two-thirds of the world's deaths, one-fourth of which occur before the age of 60 years. Nearly 80% of NCD deaths occur in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), where they are also increasing most rapidly, but despite this enormous burden, funding for NCD research in LMICs is less than 10% of the World Health Organization and global health aid budgets. This image conveys important elements of NCD prevention: not smoking, maintaining normal weight, and maintaining a normal blood pressure and blood sugar through exercise, diet, and medication if necessary. With the importance of the topic and these global needs and disparities in mind, the editors of PLOS Medicine have issued a call for papers into research and commentary on NCDs directed toward improving population health and reducing health disparities. PLOS Medicine considers mental health and substance use disorders as part of NCDs as well, because mental health disorders and substance abuse also cause considerable morbidity and mortality, contribute to other NCDs, and similarly require the health systems necessary to care for chronic conditions. Research and Magazine papers on NCDs will be published throughout 2013 and beyond and will comprise an online collection; of course, all will be freely available as open access publications.

Image Credit: Elliott Brown, Alden Chadwick, Daniel Oines and Bernard Goldbach at Flickr.


Ending Neglect of Older People in the Response to Humanitarian Emergencies

Unni Karunakara, Frances Stevenson

Policy Forums

Preventing Pandemics Via International Development: A Systems Approach

Tiffany L. Bogich, Rumi Chunara, David Scales, Emily Chan, Laura C. Pinheiro, Aleksei A. Chmura, Dennis Carroll, Peter Daszak, John S. Brownstein

PRIME: A Programme to Reduce the Treatment Gap for Mental Disorders in Five Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Crick Lund, Mark Tomlinson, Mary De Silva, Abebaw Fekadu, Rahul Shidhaye, Mark Jordans, Inge Petersen, Arvin Bhana, Fred Kigozi, Martin Prince, Graham Thornicroft, Charlotte Hanlon, Ritsuko Kakuma, David McDaid, Shekhar Saxena, Dan Chisholm, Shoba Raja, Sarah Kippen-Wood, Simone Honikman, Lara Fairall, Vikram Patel

Research Articles

Research on Implementation of Interventions in Tuberculosis Control in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review

Frank Cobelens, Sanne van Kampen, Eleanor Ochodo, Rifat Atun, Christian Lienhardt

Uptake of Home-Based Voluntary HIV Testing in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Kalpana Sabapathy, Rafael Van den Bergh, Sarah Fidler, Richard Hayes, Nathan Ford

Effect of Flexible Sigmoidoscopy-Based Screening on Incidence and Mortality of Colorectal Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

B. Joseph Elmunzer, Rodney A. Hayward, Philip S. Schoenfeld, Sameer D. Saini, Amar Deshpande, Akbar K. Waljee

Personalized Prediction of Lifetime Benefits with Statin Therapy for Asymptomatic Individuals: A Modeling Study

Bart S. Ferket, Bob J. H. van Kempen, Jan Heeringa, Sandra Spronk, Kirsten E. Fleischmann, Rogier L. G. Nijhuis, Albert Hofman, Ewout W. Steyerberg, M. G. Myriam Hunink

National, Regional, and Global Trends in Infertility Prevalence Since 1990: A Systematic Analysis of 277 Health Surveys

Maya N. Mascarenhas, Seth R. Flaxman, Ties Boerma, Sheryl Vanderpoel, Gretchen A. Stevens