WHO report reveals diabetes among the top 10 causes of death and disability worldwide

09 December 2020

New data published from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that deaths from diabetes have increased by 70% globally between 2000 and 2019.

According to the WHO 2019 Global Health Estimates, which reveal trends over the last two decades in mortality and morbidity caused by diseases and injuries, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) now make up seven of the world’s top ten causes of death. This is an increase from four of the ten leading causes in 2000.

The estimates clearly highlight the need for an intensified global focus on preventing and treating NCDs such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases.

In the Eastern Mediterranean, deaths from diabetes more than doubled, representing the greatest percentage increase of all WHO regions.

“These new estimates are another reminder that we need to rapidly step up prevention, diagnosis and treatment of noncommunicable diseases,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO. “They highlight the urgency of drastically improving primary health care equitably and holistically. Strong primary health care is clearly the foundation on which everything rests, from combatting noncommunicable diseases to managing a global pandemic.”

Image credit: WHO/Sergey Volkov

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