WHO list of the most common causes of death

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According to WHO statistics, more and more people are dying from lung cancer and diabetes

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published statistics on the world's leading causes of death from the 2011 reporting year. Accordingly, a particularly large number of people die from the consequences of smoking. These include complications such as heart attack and stroke. The WHO believes that around 80 percent of premature deaths from cardiovascular disease could be avoided by eating healthier, exercising adequately, and avoiding nicotine. The organization compared the 2011 data with the 2000 reporting year for its evaluation.

Most common cause of death: cardiovascular diseases According to current WHO statistics, around one in ten people worldwide die from the effects of smoking. Cardiovascular and lung diseases top the list of the most common causes of death. In the reporting year 2011, almost a quarter of all deaths worldwide were due to this. Accordingly, one in three deceased suffered from a cardiovascular disease such as a heart attack, stroke or clogged blood vessels. As the WHO reports, around 80 percent of these deaths could be avoided by eating healthier foods, exercising regularly and avoiding tobacco. The main risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack, coronary heart disease and stroke, are overweight, an unhealthy, too high-fat diet, nicotine consumption, lack of exercise, diabetes and high blood pressure.

According to the WHO, two thirds of all deaths worldwide in 2011 were due to non-communicable diseases. In 2000 it was only sixty percent of the deaths. The number of these diseases would increase both in the industrialized countries as well as in developing and emerging countries towards infectious diseases, according to the experts. In developed countries, non-communicable diseases affect 87 percent of all deaths, 81 percent in emerging countries and 36 percent in developing countries. Diabetes mellitus ranks eighth among the world's leading causes of death. According to the WHO, about every tenth person suffers from an abnormally disturbed sugar balance. Since 2000, the number of diabetes deaths has risen from 1 million to 1.4 million.

Another sad place was lung cancer, which ranked ninth among the leading causes of death in 2009, but reached seventh in 2011.

AIDS ranks sixth among the world's leading causes of death Sixth place is the immunodeficiency disease AIDS. The disease still kills most of the victims in Africa. According to the WHO, 70 percent of AIDS deaths were in sub-Saharan Africa. Globally, the number of deaths from AIDS has been falling since it peaked in 2005 with 2.2 million deaths. In 2011, 1.6 million AIDS deaths were registered. Unfortunately, many people in developing countries still do not have sufficient medical care available, so that people affected often do not even know that they suffer from immunodeficiency or do not receive antiretroviral drugs that we use as standard therapy for HIV and enable a largely normal life .

As a result of the economic upswing, the number of motorized road users and thus the number of people who die in traffic accidents is increasing in many countries. According to the WHO, almost 3,500 people die in traffic every day. In 2011, 1.3 million traffic fatalities were registered. This is the ninth most common cause of death. In 2000, the traffic victims were eleventh. The WHO therefore calls for stricter monitoring of traffic regulations, especially in countries where the number of road fatalities has only recently increased.

The WHO evaluation also showed positive developments such as the decrease in deaths from tuberculosis. One million people died of the disease in 2011, compared to 1.3 million in 2000. However, the fight against tuberculosis remains an important concern, the WHO said.

Child deaths The average life expectancy of a child born in 2011 is 70 years, which is reduced to 60 in countries with low median incomes and to 80 in countries with higher median incomes. In 1990 the life expectancy of children was on average six years lower.

According to the WHO, the most common cause of child death is premature birth. Although the number of deaths here has dropped from 1.4 million (2000) to 1.2 million (2011), according to the WHO, the number could be more than three quarters lower due to the use of relatively simple, inexpensive medical devices. Every year, around 15 million babies are born before the 37th week of pregnancy due to complications.

High premature death rate In May 2012, the world's first comprehensive report on premature babies entitled “Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth” was presented. According to this, around 1.1 million premature babies would not survive each year.

While prosperity diseases such as obesity, smoking, high blood pressure and late motherhood are often the cause of premature births in industrialized countries, poor development, lack of protection against infections and poor medical knowledge lead to early births in developing countries.

Most premature babies are born in Malawi, Southeast Africa, at 18.1 percent. For comparison: According to the report, 9.2 percent of children in Germany are born prematurely. It's 12 percent in the United States. As the South African Joy Lawn from the organization "Save the Children" explains, an injection that the mothers received before the birth and cost just one dollar is often enough to combat lung problems in premature babies and thus save their lives. Properly donating heat is also important. Aid workers showed mothers, for example in the kangaroo model, how the children are properly carried on the chest. This alone can reduce child mortality, Lawn said. (ag)

Photo credit: Instinktknipser / pixelio.de

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