Two-thirds of deaths caused by non-communicable diseases – WHO

Manila, Philippines – Almost two thirds of all deaths worldwide are caused by noncommunicable diseases, such as heart and lung disease, diabetes and cancer, the World Health 2012 report released this week has revealed.

For the first time, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) annual statistics report includes information from 194 countries on the percentage of men and women with raised blood pressure and blood glucose levels.

It showed the alarming incidence of hypertension and diabetes worldwide.

Furthermore, it was determined that one in three adults worldwide has raised blood pressure – a condition that causes around half of all deaths from stroke and heart disease.

Likewise, included for the first time in the World Health Statistics 2012 are data on people with raised blood glucose levels.

It showed that one in 10 adults has diabetes.

While the global average prevalence is around 10 percent, up to one third of populations in some Pacific Island countries have this condition.

Left untreated, diabetes can lead to cardiovascular disease, blindness and kidney failure.

The report also cited obesity as another major issue.

“In every region of the world, obesity doubled between 1980 and 2008,” says Dr. Ties Boerma, Director of the Department of Health Statistics and Information Systems at WHO. “Today, half a billion people (equivalent to 12 percemt of the world’s population) are considered obese.”

The highest obesity levels are in the WHO Region of the Americas (26 percent of adults) and the lowest in the WHO South-East Asia Region (three percent obese).

In all parts of the world, women are more likely to be obese than men, and thus at greater risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

Published annually by WHO, the World Health Statistics is the most comprehensive publication of health-related global statistics available.

It contains data from 194 countries on a range of mortality, disease and health system indicators including life expectancy, illnesses and deaths from a range of diseases, health services and treatments, financial investment in health, as well as risk factors and behaviors that affect health. (Roy C. Mabasa)

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