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Top 10 Causes of Death Worldwide

By July 11, 2017 No Comments

According to the latest statistics report by the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 75% of all deaths in the World are attributed to just 10 causes. The top three of these account for over than 50 % of all deaths.

These diseases have remained the leading causes of death globally in the last 15 years:

10-Road Injury: 1.25 Million Deaths per year

Every year, approximately 1.25 million people die as a result of a road crash. Between 20 and 50 million people suffer non-fatal injuries, with many incurring a disability as a result of their trauma.

9-Tuberculosis: 1.34 Million Deaths per year
In 2015, 10.4 million people felt ill with Tuberculosis (TB) and died from the disease (including 0.4 million among people with HIV). Over 95% of TB deaths occur in low and middle-income countries. TB is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs.

8-Diarrheal diseases: 1.39 Million Deaths per year
Diarrheal diseases account for 1 in 9 child deaths worldwide, making diarrhea the second leading cause of death among children under the age of 5. The death rate from diarrheal diseases almost increased by 50% between 2000 and 2015. Generally, Diarrheal diseases are preventable, however, there are so many places in the world without access to clean water and proper sanitation.

7-Alzheimer’s disease: 1.54 Million Deaths per year
Death by this degenerative disease is usually caused by secondary infections that are common in incapacitated patients. As the disease evolves, patients lose the ability to coordinate basic motor skills such as swallowing, walking, or controlling bladder and bowel. Difficulty of swallowing leads to food inhalation, which may cause pneumonia. These infections become particularly difficult to deal with because Alzheimer’s patients are unable to understand and participate in their own treatment.

6-Diabetes Mellitus: 1.59 Million Deaths per year
Diabetes is more likely to be listed as an associated cause of death. This is because it is often not diabetes itself that leads directly to death but one of its complications as the underlying cause of death.

5-Trachea, bronchus and Lung Cancers: 1.69 Milion Deaths per year
Cancer has gained a gradual rise in deaths over time, although death rates have declined gradually since 1990. The increasing number of cancer deaths reflects the longer term damage smoking can do, as a growing aging population.

4-Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): 3.17 Million Deaths per year
COPD is not one single disease but an umbrella term used to describe chronic lung diseases that cause limitations in lung airflow. Furthermore, smoking early in life plays a crucial part in respiratory disease deaths, including second-hand smoking-related illness (COPD).

3-Lower Respiratory Infections: 3.19 Million Deaths per year
Lower respiratory infections remain the most deadly communicable disease, causing 3.19 Million deaths worldwide in 2015. Many children with acute low respiratory infections are not properly diagnosed, and overuse of antibiotics has led to increasing drug resistance.

2-Strokes: 6.24 Million Deaths per year
They happen when the brain’s blood flow stops which causes the death of brain cells. This can lead to brain injury, disability and eventually death.Moreover, even if the patient survives the quality of life is severely decreased.

1-Ischemic Heart Disease: 8.76 Million Deaths per year
By 2030, Cardio Vascular Diseases are projected to account for 25 million deaths worldwide. It has surpassed infectious diseases in developing countries as the leading cause of death in the world.

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Written by Gandoul Abdessamiaa – Doctor in the making
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Sources:
James, B. D., Leurgans, S. E., Hebert, L. E., Scherr, P. A., Yaffe, K., & Bennett, D. A. (2014). Contribution of Alzheimer disease to mortality in the United States. Neurology, 82(12), 1045-1050. doi:10.1212/wnl.0000000000000240
Madhi, S.A., Klugman, K. P. Chapter 11 Acute Respiratory Infections. Disease and Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa. 2nd ed. Washington: International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank, 2006.
Okwuosa, I. S., Lewsey, S. C., Adesiyun, T., Blumenthal, R. S., &Yancy, C. W. (2016). Worldwide disparities in cardiovascular disease: Challenges and solutions. International Journal of Cardiology, 202, 433-440. doi:10.1016/j.ijcard.2015.08.172
Soler-Cataluna, J. J. (2005). Severe acute exacerbations and mortality in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Thorax, 60(11), 925-931. doi:10.1136/thx.2005.040527
The top 10 causes of death. (2017, January). Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/
World Health Statistics 2016: Monitoring Health for the SDGs sustainable Development goals. (2016). World Health Organization.

MedVerse Team

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