Intended for healthcare professionals


Deaths from non-communicable diseases are highest in Afghanistan, lowest in Sweden

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 15 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5876
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

Men and women in the world’s poorest countries are around three times more likely to die under the age of 60 from non-communicable diseases than those in rich countries, says a report from the World Health Organization.

The report “really dispels the myth that non-communicable diseases are just a problem of high-income countries and not of concern for low-income countries,” said Leanne Riley, team leader for surveillance at WHO’s department of chronic diseases and health promotion.

The report says more than 36 million people died from non-communicable diseases in 2008, mainly cardiovascular diseases (48%), cancers (21%), chronic respiratory diseases (12%), and diabetes (3%).

More than nine million of these deaths occurred before the …

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