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Poor Diets, Tobacco, and Heart Disease Among the Major Causes of Death in 2016

Poor diets, tobacco, and heart disease were among the biggest killers in 2016. A large international study also revealed mental disorders cause people the greatest ill health.

This global study involved more than 2,500 researchers in around 130 countries. And it is the most comprehensive worldwide observational epidemiological study to date.

The Global Burden of Disease study explains the rate of major diseases and death in populations — including risk factors and injuries to health at regional, national, and global levels.
poor diets cause death

Poor Diets among Risk Factors

Death caused by violence and conflict continued to be the biggest killers last year.  However, tobacco consumption and heart diseases are also high on this dreadful list, according to a large international study.

The Global Burden of Disease study also found mental disorders and poor diets caused people the greatest ill health.

Researchers of this worldwide study examine trends from 1990 to the present and make comparisons across populations.  These comparisons enable better understanding of the ever-changing health challenges people face around the globe in the 21st century.

Longer Life Obstacles

One good note — life expectancy is on a rise.  Nevertheless, the added years people live in poor health happens to be a large concern. According to this recent study, the amount of life people spend being ill is higher in poor countries than in wealthy ones.

Researchers note that people have been much less motivated to address issues leading to illnesses. The team also added that troubles, like mental illness, conflict, and obesity — is increasingly becoming an obstinate barrier to active lifestyles.

The study’s findings revealed that in 2016, poor diets were associated with nearly one in five deaths worldwide. Unhealthy and poor diets that are particularly low in nuts, fruits, seeds, fish oils, and whole grains — and high in salt — were the most common risk factors.  These poor diets contributed to cases of high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and obesity.

More Findings Pertaining to Health

Additionally, researchers found that non-communicable or chronic diseases — like diabetes and cardiovascular disease — caused 72 percent of all deaths worldwide.  Tobacco smoking killed 7.1 million people.

Heart disease was one of the leading causes of premature death in most areas.  The disease killed 9.48 million people globally in 2016. Mental illness was also found to have affected more than 1.1 billion people living with psychiatric or psychological disorders — including substance abuse problems last year. Major depressive disorders ranks in the top 10 causes of ill health in all but four countries worldwide.

The Global Burden of Disease study titled, “Global, regional, and national age-sex specific mortality for 264 causes of death, 1980–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016,” is published in The Lancet medical journal.

About the author: George Zapo is certified in Public Health Promotion and Education (Kent State University). George provides informative articles promoting healthy behavior and lifestyles.

1 comment… add one
  • Faraz Choudhry

    No surprises at 1:3 of us having cancer and 1:4 of us falling mentally ill, globally.

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