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New global centre for chronic disease in India

A new international health research partnership based in India plans to tackle chronic diseases ranging from diabetes to dementia in an integrated way. Chronic conditions are the leading cause of death in India, accounting for more than 5 million deaths each year. They are also a leading cause of disability. The Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions (CCCC), launched in New Delhi, India, on April 7, brings together experts from four leading institutes in Europe, America, and Asia - Emory University, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) - to increase collaboration in research into non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The CCCC, which will have its secretariat at PHFI, will act as a research platform for clinicians, public health experts, geneticists, biochemists and social scientists from these institutes. The goal of the partnership is to generate evidence-based knowledge and solutions to address chronic conditions in India and globally from a policy and clinical perspective.

One CCCC project aims to study the feasibility of training health workers in the management of chronic conditions so that specialists can be engaged in other crucial tasks. Another is investigating mental and neurological disorders and cardiovascular diseases to develop interventions for people to deal with multiple morbidities, and developing a mobile app for community health workers to integrate management of diabetes, hypertension, alcohol misuse, and depression.

A large community-based cohort of 100,000 adults will be the main research resource available to the new centre. It includes people in two large cities (New Delhi and Chennai), two mid-sized cities (Visakhapatnam and Sonipat), and a set of villages in Himachal Pradesh. The idea is to follow-up this cohort to study risk factors, evaluate dietary and environmental factors, and evaluate causes of diseases, including cancers over a period of time. 

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New global centre for chronic disease in India. Field Exchange 50, August 2015. p56. www.ennonline.net/fex/50/globalcentrechronicdisindia