Countries aim to cut quarter of premature deaths

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The World Health Organization says its members are poised to agree to a target of cutting a quarter of premature deaths from chronic diseases by 2025.

It is the first time that countries will set a concrete global goal for reducing premature deaths from cardiovascular and lung diseases, diabetes and cancer.

Some 12 million people aged 30 to 70 years died from those four diseases in 2010.

Countries are expected to formally adopt the resolution Saturday.

The global health agency says countries will next work on specific recommendations for reducing salt and sugar intake, smoking and promoting physical activity at a meeting in October.

Tim Armstrong of WHO's chronic disease unit told reporters in Geneva on Friday that the new target would be a "very significant step" for global health.