If you are a man between the ages of 15 and 60 years you are at a much higher risk of dying than the woman next to you, according to the World Health Organisation's (WHO) report on Global Burden of Disease released today. This is mainly due to higher levels of heart diseases and injuries, including those from violence and conflict.
This report also claims that if you're a woman, you have a 50% higher chance of being adversely affected by depression than the man next to you. And whether you're a man or a woman, the use of alcohol is one of the top reasons that may cause you to suffer a disability.
The WHO's study contains details of the top ten causes of death and estimates for over 130 disease and injury causes. Striking findings include:
- Worldwide, Africa accounts for 9 out of every 10 child deaths due to malaria, for 9 out of every 10 child deaths due to HIV/Aids, and for half of the world's child deaths due to diarrhoeal disease and pneumonia.
- The top five causes of death in low- income countries are: pneumonia, heart disease, diarrhoea, HIV/Aids and stroke. In high- income countries the list is topped by heart disease, followed by stroke, lung cancer, pneumonia, and asthma/bronchitis.
More about the report
The WHO's study of the Global Burden of Disease, provides a comprehensive picture of the global and regional state of health.
Drawing from extensive data across the organisation, it features comparisons between deaths, diseases and injuries whether by region, age, sex or country income for the year 2004. It also provides projections of deaths and burden of disease by cause and region to the year 2030.
The production and dissemination of health information for action is one of WHO's core mandated activities. The study provides Member States with key health information for health decision-making, planning and priority setting.
"It is vital that we have a global and regional picture of deaths, disease and disability", says Colin Mathers, Coordinator for Epidemiology and Burden of Disease at WHO and lead author of the study. "It enables policy makers and countries to identify the gaps and ensure that help and efforts are directed to those who are most in need. Countries can use the information to create strategies and cost-effective interventions aimed at improving health across the world." – (WHO/Health24, October 2008)
African health woes a global burden