Chronic, non-communicable diseases present a significant global health burden, and a disproportionate one as well. The World Health organization (WHO) reports that cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number one cause of death globally; more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause . Low- and middle-income countries are disproportionally affected, representing more than 80 percent of all CVD deaths.
The disease focus of the research efforts at Baylor's Global Innovation Center are on chronic, non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. . More than 60% of world’s total new annual cases of cancer occur in Africa, Asia and Central and South America; these regions account for 70% of the world’s cancer deaths. Both CVDs and many cancers share common behavioral and dietary risk factors and, like most diseases, they are most effectively and affordably treated when detected early. This focus complements the noteworthy international programs elsewhere at Baylor that have traditionally focused on infectious diseases (HIV), tropical diseases, and neglected diseases of poverty (malaria, malnutrition, parasites).
 Globocan 2012, Estimated Cancer Incidence, Mortality, and Prevalence Worldwide in 2012. WHO, IARC