Geneva: Deaths from road accidents, cancer and heart disease are set to soar over the next 20 years as the developing world’s populations get richer and live longer, according to a study out this week.
As low and middle-income economies grow by 2030, mortality rates from noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, and road crashes due to increased car ownership, will make up more than 30% of deaths worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) found.
Meanwhile, deaths from factors currently associated with the developing world, such as nutritional deficiencies, malaria and tuberculosis, will fall, the Geneva-based organization said in its “World Health Statistics 2008.”
“Globally, deaths from cancer will increase from 7.4 million in 2004 to 11.8 million in 2030, and deaths from cardiovascular diseases will rise from 17.1 million to 23.4 million in the same period,” the survey said.
Deaths due to road traffic accidents will increase from 1.3 million in 2004 to 2.4 million in 2030, mainly owing to increased motor vehicle ownership and use associated with economic growth in low- and middle-income countries.
The four main causes of death by 2030 will be ischaemic heart disease, strokes, chronic obstructive heart disease and lower respiratory infections such as pneumonia, the WHO said.
The rise in COHD is mainly seen coming from increased tobacco consumption, it added.Tobacco-related illnesses caused some 5.4 million deaths in 2004 and are expected to soar by more than half to 8.3 million by 2030, with 80% of these cases in developing countries, the WHO said.