The impact of chronic diseases continues escalating among populations in developing countries. In an effort to combat chronic cardiovascular and lung diseases globally, NHLBI and the United Health Chronic Disease Initiative support local research and training capacity building programs for a network of 11 collaborating Centers of Excellence (COEs) in low- and middle-income countries. Each COE plans to implement1-4 projects; 20 projects are research-related [four focus on pulmonary diseases, eg, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and 19 focus on cardiovascular diseases (CVD), eg, hypotension and stroke] and others provide training, community outreach service, and institutional capability building opportunities. Six projects are conducted in multiple countries, involving 21 developing countries. Studies typically target adults, though two studies target children and adolescents. Projects adhere to the following study designs: qualitative assessment and focus group discussion, case-control, cross-sectional, prospective cohort, quasi-intervention, randomised clinical trial, and simulation. COEs primarily collect data on socio-demographics; anthropometry and blood pressure; lifestyle such as smoking, alcohol use, and physical activities; medical history and medication use; and nutrition. For other studies, COEs collect data on mental health, quality of life, health service utilisation, female reproductive history, spirometry, and biomarkers of CVD and pulmonary diseases. Collecting similar types of data may allow cross-study and cross-national data analysis. Each developing country is paired with at least one academic partner from a developed country to enhance sustainable research and training activities to tackle the complex challenges of the CVD and pulmonary non-communicable chronic disease burden.
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