Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

State of non-communicable diseases in Nepal

Gajananda Prakash Bhandari1*, Mirak Raj Angdembe2, Meghnath Dhimal3, Sushma Neupane3 and Choplal Bhusal3

Author Affiliations

1 Nepal Public Health Foundation, 102/2 Dhara Marg, Maharajgunj, P.O. Box: 11218, Kathmandu-4, Nepal

2 Department of Public Health, Central Institute of Science and Technology, Pokhara University, Kathmandu, Nepal

3 Nepal Health Research Council, Kathmandu, Nepal

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:23  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-23

Published: 10 January 2014



The prevalence of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) is still unknown in Nepal. The Ministry of Health and Population, Government of Nepal has not yet formulated policy regarding NCDs in the absence of evidence based finding. The study aims to find out the hospital based prevalence of NCDs in Nepal, thus directing the concerned authorities at policy level.


A cross sectional study was conducted to identify the hospital based prevalence of 4 NCDs (cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), wherein 400 indoor patients admitted during 2009 were randomly selected from each of the 31 selected health institutions which included all non-specialist tertiary level hospitals outside the Kathmandu valley (nā€‰=ā€‰25), all specialist tertiary level hospitals in the country (nā€‰=ā€‰3) and 3 non-specialist tertiary level hospitals inside the Kathmandu valley. In case of Kathmandu valley, 3 non-specialist health institutions- one central hospital, one medical college and one private hospital were randomly selected. The main analyses are based on the 28 non-specialist hospitals. Univariate (frequency and percentage) and bivariate (cross-tabulation) analysis were used.


In non-specialist institutions, the hospital based NCD prevalence was 31%. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (43%) was the most common NCD followed by cardiovascular disease (40%), diabetes mellitus (12%) and cancer (5%). Ovarian (14%), stomach (14%) and lung cancer (10%) were the main cancers accounting for 38% of distribution. Majority of CVD cases were hypertension (47%) followed by cerebrovascular accident (16%), congestive cardiac failure (11%), ischemic heart disease (7%), rheumatic heart disease (5%) and myocardial infarction (2%). CVD was common in younger age groups while COPD in older age groups. Majority among males (42%) and females (45%) were suffering from COPD.


The study was able to reveal that Nepal is also facing the surging burden of NCDs similar to other developing nations in South East Asia. Furthermore, the study has provided a background data on NCDs in Nepal which should prove useful for the concerned organizations to focus and contribute towards the prevention, control and reduction of NCD burden and its risk factors.

Non-communicable disease; Nepal; Prevalence; Chronic disease; Burden; Magnitude