These diseases kill most people in the world every year
Researchers from the well-known international World Health Organization (WHO) investigated the most common causes of death worldwide. More than half of all deaths (54 percent) were due to the same ten causes.
The World Health Organization (WHO) scientists found that the top ten causes of death cause more than half of all deaths worldwide each year. The experts published a press release on the results of their study.
More than half of all deaths in 2015 are due to ten causes
While studying data from 2015, the researchers found that out of the 56.4 million deaths this year, more than half (54 percent) are due to the top ten causes of death. The diseases that lead to the most deaths are: Ischemic heart diseases and strokes. Together, these illnesses were responsible for around 15 million deaths in 2015 and the leading cause of death worldwide in the past 15 years.
Which diseases are responsible for most deaths?
But other serious illnesses are also responsible for millions of deaths. For example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) caused approximately 3.2 million deaths in 2015. In contrast, lung cancer (together with trachea and bronchial cancer) resulted in 1.7 million deaths. Diabetes caused the death of 1.6 million people. This value had risen sharply. In 2000, it was under a million, say the experts. Deaths from dementia even doubled between 2000 and 2015. This made dementia the seventh leading cause of death in 2015, the authors explain.
Other common causes of death
The so-called lower respiratory infection remained the deadliest communicable disease in 2015. The disease was responsible for around 3.2 million deaths worldwide. Diarrheal deaths almost halved between 2000 and 2015. Despite this, there were still 1.4 million deaths related to diarrhea, the doctors write. For comparison: fewer people died from tuberculosis in the same period, but tuberculosis is also among the ten most common causes of death. The disease resulted in almost 1.4 million deaths. In 2015, HIV / AIDS was no longer one of the ten leading causes of death worldwide. But the disease still killed 1.1 million people, the researchers say. In 2000 this figure was still 1.5 million. Road accidents killed around 1.3 million people in 2015. About three quarters (76 percent) of the victims were young adult men.
Lower respiratory infections were among the leading causes of death everywhere
More than half (52 percent) of all deaths in low-income countries in 2015 were caused by Group I conditions. These included communicable diseases, maternal causes, pregnancy and birth conditions as well as lack of nutrition, the experts explain. In comparison, only seven percent of deaths in high-income countries were due to such causes. Lower respiratory infections were among the leading causes of death in all income groups.
There are still many deaths from traffic accidents
So-called non-communicable diseases (NCD) cause 70 percent of deaths worldwide. In low-income countries, the figure was 37 percent. In high-income countries, these diseases cause 88 percent of deaths, doctors say. Injuries and accidents resulted in nearly 5 million deaths in 2015. More than a quarter (27 percent) of these deaths were caused by traffic accidents. Low-income countries had the highest death toll from road traffic injuries, with 28.5 deaths per 100,000 population, the authors add.
Why is it important to know what people die from?
It's important to know why and how many people die each year, the researchers say. This is how the effectiveness of a country's health system can be assessed. With the help of such numbers, health authorities can then determine the focus of their public health policies. For example, if deaths from heart disease and diabetes increase in a country over a period of a few years, for example, that country can promote healthy lifestyles to prevent such diseases.
Information gathering systems need to be improved in many countries
High-income countries have different systems for collecting information about the causes of death. Many low and middle income countries do not have such systems, the scientists explain. Therefore, the number of deaths from specific causes in such countries usually has to be estimated from incomplete data. Improvements in the production of high-quality cause-of-death data are pivotal to improving health and reducing deaths in these countries. (as)