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date: 27 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

With populations aging and the epidemic of obesity spreading across the globe, global health risks are shifting toward noncommunicable diseases. Innovative biomarker data from recently conducted population-representative surveys in lower, middle, and higher income countries are used to describe how four key biological health risks—hypertension, cholesterol, glucose, and inflammation—vary with economic development and, within each country, with age, gender, and education. As obesity rises in lower income countries, the burden of noncommunicable diseases will rise in roughly predictable ways, and the costs to society are potentially very large. Investigations that explain cross-country differences in these relationships will have a major impact on advancing the understanding of the complex interplay among biology, health, and development.

Keywords: biological health risks, noncommunicable diseases, biomarkers, economic development, obesity

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