Chronic diseases -- heart disease -- increasing worldwide

Aug. 28, 2013 at 10:34 PM

GENEVA, Switzerland, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Chronic diseases such as heart disease cause increasing numbers of deaths worldwide, officials at the World Health Organization in Switzerland say.

Heart disease, stroke, lower respiratory infections, chronic obstructive lung disease, diarrhoea and HIV/AIDS have remained the top major killers worldwide during the past decade.

In 2011, an estimated 55 million people died worldwide, WHO said.

Non-communicable diseases were responsible for two-thirds of all deaths globally in 2011, up from 60 percent in 2000. The four main NCDs were cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic lung diseases. Communicable, maternal, perinatal and nutrition conditions collectively were responsible for a quarter of global deaths, and injuries caused 9 percent of all deaths, the WHO report said.

Cardiovascular diseases killed nearly 17 million people in 2011, or 3 in every 10 deaths -- of these, 7 million people died of ischaemic heart disease and 6.2 million from stroke, the report said.

Heart disease, stroke, diabetes and road injuries all increased worldwide since 2000. Lower respiratory infections, diarrhea, trachea, premature birth and tuberculosis occurred more frequently in 2000 and went down by 2011, while chronic obstructive lung disease and HIV/AIDS remained about the same during the study period.

Lung cancers along with trachea and bronchus cancers caused 1.5 million deaths in 2011, up from 1.2 million deaths in 2000. Similarly, diabetes caused 1.4 million deaths in 2011, up from 1 million deaths in 2000.

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