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Heart disease now killing more people than ever before: WHO

United Nations- Heart disease, which has remained the leading cause of death at the global level for the last 20 years, is now killing more people than ever before, according to the World Health Organization.

The WHO said diabetes and dementia are also among the world’s top 10 causes of death.

The WHO’s 2019 Global Health Estimates, released on Wednesday, said non-communicable diseases now make up 7 of the world’s top 10 causes of death, an increase from 4 of the 10 leading causes in 2000. The new data cover the period from 2000 to 2019.

“Heart disease has remained the leading cause of death at the global level for the last 20 years. However, it is now killing more people than ever before,” the organisation said.

Heart disease now represents 16 per cent of total deaths from all causes and the number of deaths from heart disease increased by more than two million since 2000 to nearly 9 million in 2019. Diabetes and dementia enter the top 10 causes of death.

Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are now among the top 10 causes of death worldwide, ranking 3rd in both the Americas and Europe in 2019. Women are disproportionally affected: globally, 65 per cent of deaths from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are women.

Deaths from diabetes increased by 70 per cent globally between 2000 and 2019, with an 80 per cent rise in deaths among males. In the Eastern Mediterranean, deaths from diabetes have more than doubled and represent the greatest percentage increase of all WHO regions.

The WHO said the estimates reveal trends over the last 2 decades in mortality and morbidity caused by diseases and injuries, clearly highlighting the need for an intensified global focus on preventing and treating cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases, as well as tackling injuries, in all regions of the world, as set out in the agenda for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. “These new estimates are another reminder that we need to rapidly step up prevention, diagnosis and treatment of non-communicable diseases,” Director-General of WHO Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.(PTI)

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