The West Indian Medical Journal (WIMJ) deserves hearty congratulations on 60 years of uninterrupted publication and for having maintained its status as the flagship medical scientific publication in the Caribbean. The Editorial for the first issue of the journal identified its remit as being a “reference journal of the diseases of the Caribbean” – a remit which it can proudly say has been discharged faithfully. The pattern of diseases in the Caribbean has changed over the years so it is gratifying to see that this anniversary issue is being dedicated to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the major public health challenge of our time. NCDs (primarily cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease) have tremendous consequences for both personal and population health. They have assumed a prominent role in Caribbean thinking and practice because they impact on many and varied aspects of regional development. While there are other important chronic NCDs, as well as chronic communicable diseases, these four diseases account for the greatest share of mortality and disability globally, and especially so in the Caribbean. In addition, they share common risk factors.