Indicator 23. Probability of dying between exact ages 30 and 70 from any of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, [or suicide]

Rationale and definition:

The disease burden from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among adults is increasing due to aging and health transitions. Globally, NCDs are responsible for 38.48% of deaths of persons aged 15-49 and 79.35% of persons aged 50-69.1 Measuring the risk of dying from target NCDs is important to assess the burden from mortality due to NCDs in a population. Further, suicide is responsible for 5.4% of deaths of persons aged 15-49 and 1.79% of persons aged 50-69.2 This indicator measures the risk of premature death due to the most common NCDs and suicide. It is the percentage of 30-year-old people who would die before their 70th birthday from any of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, or suicide, assuming that s/he would experience current mortality rates at every age and s/he would not die from any other cause of death, like accidents or HIV/AIDS.3


By sex and geographical location like rural and urban (to support targeting of healthcare systems). Other opportunities for disaggregation to be reviewed.

Comments and limitations:

One limitation is that data on adult mortality is limited, notably in low- income countries.4 This is especially true in the case of suicide, where stigma causes under-counting.

Preliminary assessment of current data availability by Friends of the Chair:


Primary data source:

Death certificates and administrative data from health facilities are the most reliable source of data for this indicator, and provide data on all the above-mentioned conditions.5 In areas where there is poor coverage of death certificates, household surveys are often used to measure mortality from NCDs, while WHO uses standardized methods to extrapolate suicide rates.

Potential lead agency or agencies:


  1. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), (2013), GBD Compare. Seattle, WA: IHME, University of Washington.

  2. Ibid.

  3. WHO Indicator and Measurement Registry, Version 1.7.0 (2011).

  4. Agyepong, I, G Liu, and S Reddy et al (2014). Health In the Framework of Sustainable Development. SDSN: Paris, France and New York, USA.

  5. Suicide is often under-reported; however at least 60 WHO member states already have good-quality registration data to directly and accurately estimate suicide rates from death certificates. WHO’s report Preventing Suicide (2014) estimates suicide rates for all WHO member states.