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Important gains in the health status of the population have been achieved in the Middle East, thanks to improvements in technology, health service delivery and public health programs, but the region still faces big public health challenges.

Although the region shows decreasing rates of communicable disease, it has increasing rates of noncommunicable disease (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, which tend to be generally slow in progression. The four main types are cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory disease (such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes.

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