The AstraZeneca Young Health Programme works to help young people aged 10-24 to take control of their health, especially to combat long-term conditions such as cancers, diabetes, respiratory and heart diseases, and mental ill health. These are often called non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

NCDs are by far the world’s greatest cause of mortality. They kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally. 15 million of these are ’premature’, occurring between the ages of 30 and 69[1].

The WHO estimates that 70% of premature deaths among adults are largely due to behaviour initiated during adolescence[2], many of them NCD risk behaviours.  Over 150 million young people smoke; 81% of adolescents don’t get enough physical activity; and 11.7% of adolescents partake in heavy episodic drinking.[3]

Some of these behaviours that we target can be largely down to personal choices, but these and other factors are also heavily affected by social and environmental influences, and by policy.

Making a significant difference is a huge task that we cannot complete on our own so we aim to catalyse action on a broader scale through;

  • Funding research to address gaps in the data, and in the wider understanding of youth health

  • Developing and showcasing health education programmes 

  • Building the skills and networks of inspiring young health leaders

  • Supporting  youth and others in advocating for relevant legislative and regulatory changes


In doing this we support young people to ensure their voice is heard - in articulating their health needs, in planning and delivering solutions, and in innovating and experimenting to advance practice.

The Young Health Programme was founded in 2010 as AstraZeneca’s global community investment initiative, and colleagues provide volunteer support for many of the programmes.

YHP activities support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal  Target 3.4 - to reduce premature deaths linked to NCDs by one third by 2030 and promote mental health and wellbeing.


Explore our other sections

  • Programmes

    Working on-the-ground to tailor prevention programmes to community needs

  • Advocacy

    Working globally and locally to put adolescent health on the policy agenda

  • Research

    Filling the gaps in evidence to support a call for prevention programming

  • Young Leaders

    Filling the gaps in evidence to support a call for prevention programming