Cancer, heart disease and diabetes run wild

LAHORE: The whole world, including Pakistan, observed World Cancer Day on Friday to raise awareness about the disease which has caused almost 10 million deaths or almost one in six deaths in 2020, but cardiovascular disease is on the rise. found to be the leading cause of all global disappearances, research by the Jang Group and Geo Television Network has shown.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Economic Forum (WEF), an estimated 17.9 million people perished from cardiovascular diseases in 2019, accounting for 32% of all deaths worldwide. Of these deaths, 85% were due to heart attack and stroke.

It is therefore safe to assume that, although the average life expectancy in the world has increased by more than six years, from 66.8 years in 2000 to 73.4 years in 2019, there is still a yawning gap between overall life expectancy and healthy life expectancy, leaving humanity quite vulnerable to the threats of cancer and deadly heart disease.

However, while the world is still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, deaths from AIDS/HIV and tuberculosis are on the decline – rather encouraging news.

The leading cause of death worldwide in 2019 was ischemic heart disease, also known as coronary heart disease. It was responsible for 16% of the total number of deaths and since 2000 it has triggered the largest increase in mortality, killing 8.9 million people in 2019.

The International Union Against Cancer has reported that nearly 70% of cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, such as Pakistan.

The most common cancers in 2020 were breast cancer (2.26 million cases), colon and rectum cancer (1.93 million cases), prostate cancer (1.41 million cases) , skin cancer (non-melanoma) (1.20 million cases) and stomach cancer (1.09 million cases).

The highest number of cancer deaths in 2020 were due to lung cancer (1.80 million deaths), colon and rectum cancer (916,000 deaths), liver cancer (830,000 deaths), stomach cancer (769,000 deaths) and breast cancer (685,000 deaths). ).

Every year, approximately 400,000 children develop cancer. About a third of cancer deaths are due to smoking, high body mass index, alcohol consumption, low fruit and vegetable intake and lack of physical activity.

Carcinogenic infections, such as human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis, are responsible for around 30% of cancer cases in low- and lower-middle-income countries. The imminent and alarming threats of diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease pose serious risks to people around the world. While diabetes increased by 80% between 2000 and 2019, conditions caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia nearly doubled, according to the WHO.

In 2019, diabetes was the ninth leading cause of death with approximately 1.5 million deaths. In 2014, approximately 422 million people worldwide had diabetes, the majority living in low- and middle-income countries. The number must have exceeded 600 million by now.

Similarly, according to the WHO estimate, there were more than 55 million people worldwide with dementia in 2020. This number will double almost every 20 years, reaching 78 million in 2030 and 139 million in 2050 and much of the increase will be in developing countries, according to the WHO. AIDS/HIV has dropped from the top 10 causes of death worldwide, dropping from eighth place in 2000 to 19th in 2020.

Another notable difference in AIDS/HIV over the period was the gender distribution of those he killed. Since 2000, there has been a 55% drop in deaths among women. In 2000, 38,000 fewer women than men died of AIDS/HIV. By 2019, that difference had grown to 90,000.

According to the United Nations, around 37.9 million people were infected with HIV/AIDS worldwide in 2018 and around 770,000 deaths were recorded that year. On October 14, 2021, the WHO said that the number of deaths from HIV/AIDS had dropped to 214,000 in 2020.

Similarly, there has also been a drop in tuberculosis (TB) cases, which fell from seventh in 2000 to 13th in 2019. According to the WHO, a total of 1.5 million people have died from tuberculosis in 2020.

Worldwide, tuberculosis is the 13th leading cause of death and the second leading infectious cause of death after Covid-19, leaving behind HIV/AIDS. In 2020, an estimated 10 million people fell ill with tuberculosis worldwide. Among them, 5.6 million were men, 3.3 million were women and 1.1 million were children.

Globally, TB deaths have fallen by 30%, but it remains a challenge in developing countries around the world and is among the top 10 causes of death in Africa and South East Asia.