Noncommunicable diseases are the top cause of deaths. In 2008, more than 36 million people worldwide died of such diseases. Ninety per cent of those lived in low-income and middle-income countries. (WHO Maps Noncommunicable Disease Trends in All Countries)
The STEPS Noncommunicable Disease Risk Factor Survey, part of the STEPwise approach to surveillance (STEPS) Adult Risk Factor Surveillance project by the World Health Organization (WHO), is a survey methodology to help countries begin to develop their own surveillance system to monitor and fight against noncommunicable diseases. The methodology prescribes three steps—questionnaire, physical measurements, and biochemical measurements. The steps consist of core items, core variables, and optional modules. Core topics covered by most surveys are demographics, health status, and health behaviors. These provide data on socioeconomic risk factors and metabolic, nutritional, and lifestyle risk factors. Details may differ from country to country and from year to year.
For a quick overview of STEPS Risk Factors, refer to Instrument at a Glance.
Publications related to the STEPS Noncommunicable Disease Risk Factor Survey, including country reports, journal articles, and PowerPoint presentations, can be found on STEPS Country Reports.
*The STEPwise approach to surveillance (STEPS) represents a simple standardized method for “collecting, analyzing, and disseminating data in WHO member countries.” It’s being developed, coordinated, and distributed by WHO.