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[In the Media] NCD Alliance Japan: How is COVID-19 affecting people living with NCDs?

[In the Media] NCD Alliance Japan: How is COVID-19 affecting people living with NCDs?

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus in 2019. With the spread of COVID-19 infections all over the world, the impact of COVID-19 on people living with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory disease, mental health has been reported.


  1. The evidence from multiple countries at the epicentre of the pandemic clearly shows that people living with NCDs are more vulnerable to COVID-19. According to a study, the overall death rate from COVID-19 has been estimated at 0.66%, rising sharply to 7.8% in people aged over 80. *1
  2. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic respiratory disease are the most common underlying diseases of hospitalized patients infected with COVID-19. It has also been pointed out that risk factors common to NCDs, such as smoking, are one of the factors that may aggravate COVID-19. World Health Organization warns that smokers likely face more severe symptoms if infected, leading to hospitalizations and premature deaths.
  3. Due to the limitation of daily life from self-quarantine and self-isolation, people living with NCDs are more likely to face difficulties with controlling their symptoms and taking medication as they may refrain from going to medical institutions because of fear of COVID-19 infection, and tend to have more stress than healthy people.
  4. NCDs involve many social determinants such as poverty and education. These social determinants of health are also obstacles to containment of COVID-19, and it is necessary to cultivate awareness and build a foundation for tackling it throughout society.


NCD Alliance Japan, a collaborative platform for civil society operated by Health Global Policy Institute, will do our best to raise our voices for the rights of people living with NCDs, older people and marginalised groups, and to collate and share information useful for COVID-19 infection prevention and control through a NCDs lens.

WHO: Information note on COVID-19 and NCDs (Published 23 March 2020)

For more information about the NCD Alliance Japan, please visit us here:

*1: Verity R, Okell LC, Dorigatti I, et al. Estimates of the severity of coronavirus disease 2019: a model-based analysis. Lancet Infect Dis 2020 Mar 30

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