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Cancer overtakes CVD to become leading cause of death in high income countries

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 03 September 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5368
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

Cancer is now responsible for twice as many deaths as cardiovascular disease (CVD) in high income countries, according to two new papers published in the Lancet.

The studies said that while CVD remains the leading cause of mortality among middle aged adults globally, accounting for 40% of all deaths, this is no longer the case in high income countries.

The researchers estimated that of 55 million deaths that occurred in the world in 2017, approximately 17.7 million were from CVD.

The findings come from the PURE study, a large prospective international cohort study that involves substantial data from a large number of middle, low, and high income countries.

Countries analysed in the two reports include: Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, India, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, …

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