In the paper by Kasturi Sen and Ruth Bonita, it is argued that the global rapid demographic and risk factor changes will lead to an increase in the heavy burden of noncommunicable diseases in the absence of preventive action. However, it should be emphasized that noncommunicable diseases are already well established in less developed countries. Statistical calculations using data from 1998 show that the rates of noncommunicable diseases are similar in countries with high and low or middle incomes. The rates, expressed as disease-adjusted life years per 100,000 population, take into account the fact that low-income or middle-income countries contain 85% of the world's population and account for at least 92% of the world's disease burden. It is noted that the rates for communicable conditions and injuries are 13 and 3 times higher in low-income and middle-income countries than in high-income countries, respectively. In view of this, the Global Forum for Health Research is working to help correct the imbalance in health research funding from projects benefiting few people to projects benefiting the majority.