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Non-communicable Diseases




Admissions requirements

Required: Biology (either the LUC course or high school-level)


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases as asthma are responsible for the greatest burden of morbidity and mortality. Almost 80% of deaths due to NCDs occur in low- and middle income countries.

The emerge of NCDs is not only driven by aging but also by rapid and unplanned urbanization and globalisation of unhealthy lifestyles such as smoking and unhealthy diets as well as metabolic adaptations than can occur early in life.

This course will focus on social determinants and physiological risk factors of the most common NCDs with the highest disease burden and impact. Also, the course will address the current paradigms and controversies in epidemiology, health systems and prevention policies.

Course objectives

After this course students will be able to:

  • Describe the epidemiology and trends of non-communicable diseases

  • Distinguish determinants of non-communicable diseases at an individual and at a population level

  • Measure and analyze main determinants of non-communicable diseases (i.e. biomarkers, genetics, lifestyle)

  • Apply the life course approach to the etiology of non-communicable diseases

  • Explain socio-economic inequalities in the occurrence of non-communicable diseases.

  • Know pros and cons of different prevention, diagnostic and treatment programs for non-communicable diseases.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, assignments, group discussions.




There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list



This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Prof.dr. Niels Chavannes –
Dr. Frederike Büchner –