November 27, 2022

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WHO: Top Ten Causes of Death worldwide 2000-2019

WHO: Top Ten Causes of Death worldwide 2000-2019

WHO announces the top ten causes of death worldwide 2000-2019. Humans live longer but have more disabilities.  Recently, the World Health Organization released the “2019 Global Health Estimates Report”. Among the current top ten causes of death in the world, 7 are non-communicable diseases. Among the top ten causes of death in 2000, non-communicable diseases accounted for four. The new data covers data from 2000 to 2019.

The top ten causes of death are:

  1. Ischemic heart disease
  2. Stroke
  3. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  4. Lower respiratory tract infection
  5. Newborn diseases
  6. Trachea, bronchus and lung cancer
  7. Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias
  8. Diarrhea
  9. Diabetes
  10. Kidney disease

No.1 Heart disease is still the number one killer, diabetes and dementia are in the top ten

For the past 20 years, heart disease has been the leading cause of death worldwide. There are more deaths from heart disease than ever before. Since 2000, the number of deaths from heart disease has increased by more than 2 million, and in 2019 it has increased to nearly 9 million. Heart disease now accounts for 16% of all causes of death. Of the 2 million new deaths, more than half occurred in the WHO Western Pacific Region. In the European region, the number of deaths from heart disease has declined, and the number of deaths has decreased by 15%.
Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are now among the top ten causes of death in the world, ranking third in the Americas and Europe in 2019. Women are deeply affected, and 65% of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia deaths worldwide are women.
From 2000 to 2019, the global number of diabetes deaths increased by 70%, and the number of male diabetes deaths increased by 80%. In the Eastern Mediterranean Region, the number of deaths from diabetes has more than doubled, the largest increase among the WHO regions.

No.2 The number of deaths from infectious diseases has fallen globally, but infectious diseases remain a major challenge in low- and middle-income countries

In 2019, pneumonia and other lower respiratory tract infections are the deadliest infectious diseases and the fourth leading cause of death. However, compared with 2000, the number of deaths caused by lower respiratory tract infections worldwide has decreased by nearly 500,000 in 2019.
This is consistent with the general downward trend in the percentage of deaths from infectious diseases worldwide. For example, AIDS was the 8th leading cause of death in 2000, and by 2019 it dropped to 19th. This is the result of the work of preventing infection, testing for HIV and treating AIDS in the past 20 years. AIDS is still one of the fourth leading causes of death in Africa, but the number of deaths has fallen by more than half. From 2000 to 2019, the number of deaths fell from more than 1 million to 435,000.
Tuberculosis is no longer the top ten cause of death in the world. From 2000 to 2019, the number of deaths from tuberculosis fell from 7th to 13th, and the number of deaths worldwide decreased by 30%. But it still ranks among the ten leading causes of death in Africa and Southeast Asia, the eighth leading cause of death in Africa and the fifth leading cause of death in Southeast Asia. After 2000, the number of deaths from tuberculosis in Africa increased, but has begun to decline in recent years.
The new data also highlights that infectious diseases still have serious consequences for low-income countries: 6 of the top 10 causes of death in low-income countries are still infectious diseases, such as malaria (6th), tuberculosis (8th) and AIDS ( No. 9).
At the same time, several WHO reports show that in recent years, the overall progress in the prevention and control of infectious diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria has slowed down or stagnated.

No.3 Humans live longer but have more disabilities

These estimated data further confirm the longevity trend. In 2019, human life expectancy was more than 6 years longer than in 2000. In 2019, the global average life expectancy exceeded 73 years, and in 2000 it was less than 67 years. However, during the six-year period of increased life expectancy, an average of only 5 years is a healthy life span.
In fact, the disability rate is on the rise. To a large extent, the diseases and health conditions that cause the most deaths are also the factors that cause the greatest loss of healthy life. Compared with 2000, in 2019, the total number of additional healthy life spans lost due to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was nearly 100 million years.
Injuries are another major cause of disability and death. Since 2000, the number of road traffic injuries in the African region has increased significantly, and the number of deaths and the loss of healthy life have increased by almost 50%. A similar phenomenon also exists in the Eastern Mediterranean, but the increase in the number of deaths and loss of healthy life is slightly smaller (about 40%). Globally, 75% of road traffic injury deaths are men.
In the Americas, drug use has become an important factor in disability and death. Between 2000 and 2019, the number of deaths from drug use in the Americas has nearly tripled. The Americas region is also the only region where drug use causes premature death and disability and is among the top ten factors of healthy life loss. In all other regions, drug use factors do not enter the top 25.


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