Medical Tuesday Blog
The 10 Leading Causes Of Death In The World 2000-2012 – WHO
Ischaemic heart disease, stroke, lower respiratory infections and chronic obstructive lung disease have remained the top major killers during the past decade.
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) were responsible for 68% (38 million) of all deaths globally in 2012, up from 60% (31 million) in 2000. Cardiovascular diseases alone killed 2.6 million more people in 2012 than in the year 2000.
Lung cancers (along with trachea and bronchus cancers) caused 1.6 million (2.9%) deaths in 2012, up from 1.2 million (2.2%) deaths in 2000. Similarly, diabetes caused 1.5 million (2.7%) deaths in 2012, up from 1.0 million (2.0%) deaths in 2000. . .
Major causes of death
I: How many people die every year?
In 2012, an estimated 56 million people died worldwide.
II: What kills more people: infectious diseases or noncommunicable diseases?
Noncommunicable diseases were responsible for 68% of all deaths globally in 2012, up from 60% in 2000. The 4 main NCDs are cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic lung diseases. Communicable, maternal, neonatal and nutrition conditions collectively were responsible for 23% of global deaths, and injuries caused 9% of all deaths.
III: Are cardiovascular diseases the number 1 cause of death throughout the world?
Yes, cardiovascular diseases killed 17.5 million people in 2012 that is 3 in every 10 deaths. Of these, 7.4 million people died of ischaemic heart disease and 6.7 million from stroke.
IV: Do most NCD deaths occur in high-income countries?
In terms of number of deaths, 28 million (about three quarters) of the 38 million of global NCD deaths in 2012 occurred in low- and middle-income countries.
In terms of proportion of deaths that are due to NCDs, high-income countries have the highest proportion – 87% of all deaths were caused by NCDs – followed by upper-middle income countries (81%). The proportions are lower in low-income countries (37%) and lower-middle income countries (57%).
V: WHO often says that smoking is a top cause of death. Where does tobacco use affect these causes of death?
Tobacco use is a major cause of many of the world’s top killer diseases – including cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive lung disease and lung cancer. In total, tobacco use is responsible for the death of about 1 in 10 adults worldwide. Smoking is often the hidden cause of the disease recorded as responsible for death.
Why do we need to know the reasons people die?
Measuring how many people die each year and why they died is one of the most important means – along with gauging how diseases and injuries are affecting people – for assessing the effectiveness of a country’s health system.
Cause-of-death statistics help health authorities determine their focus for public health actions. A country where deaths from heart disease and diabetes rapidly rise over a period of a few years, for example, has a strong interest in starting a vigorous programme to encourage lifestyles to help prevent these illnesses. Similarly, if a country recognizes that many children are dying of malaria, but only a small portion of the health budget is dedicated to providing effective treatment, it can increase spending in this area.
High-income countries have systems in place for collecting information on causes of death in the population. Many low- and middle-income countries do not have such systems, and the numbers of deaths from specific causes have to be estimated from incomplete data. Improvements in producing high quality cause-of-death data are crucial for improving health and reducing preventable deaths in these countries.
Please See All media releases from WHO . . .