Heart disease biggest killer in 2019

Seven out of 10 leading causes of death in 2019 were noncommunicable diseases, with heart disease remaining at the top of the list.

ACCORDING to the World Health Organisation (WHO), noncommunicable diseases, including stroke and cancers, made up seven of the 10 leading causes of death last year, accounting for 44 per cent of all lives lost.

The world’s biggest killer is ischaemic heart disease, responsible for 16 per cent of the world’s total deaths.

“Since 2000, the largest increase in deaths has been for this disease, rising by more than 2 million to 8.9 million deaths in 2019,” said WHO.

“Stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are the 2nd and 3rd leading causes of death, responsible for approximately 11 per cent and 6 per cent of total deaths respectively.”

Lower respiratory infections remained one of the world’s most deadly communicable disease, ranked as the 4th leading cause of death.

However, the number of deaths has gone down substantially: in 2019 it claimed 2.6 million lives, 460 000 fewer than in 2000.

Neonatal conditions are ranked 5th. However, deaths from neonatal conditions are one of the categories for which the global decrease in deaths over the past 20 years has been the greatest: these conditions killed 2 million newborns and young children in 2019, 1.2 million fewer than in 2000.

But deaths from noncommunicable diseases are on the rise, warns WHO.

Trachea, bronchus and lung cancer deaths have risen from 1.2 million to 1.8 million and are now ranked 6th among leading causes of death.

In 2019, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia ranked as the 7th leading cause of death, and globally, 65 per cent of deaths from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are women.

One of the largest declines in the number of deaths is from diarrhoeal diseases, with global deaths falling from 2.6 million in 2000 to 1.5 million in 2019.


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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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