Chronic diseases and health promotion

Overview - Preventing chronic diseases: a vital investment


Chronic diseases: major cause of death

60% of all deaths are due to chronic diseases

Chronic diseases include heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes. Visual impairment and blindness, hearing impairment and deafness, oral diseases and genetic disorders are other chronic conditions that account for a substantial portion of the global burden of disease.

From a projected total of 58 million deaths from all causes in 2005, it is estimated that chronic diseases will account for 35 million, which is double the number of deaths from all infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria), maternal and perinatal conditions, and nutritional deficiencies combined.

(Note: The data presented in this overview were estimated by WHO using standard methods to maximize cross-country comparability. They are not necessarily the official statistics of Member States.)

35 000 000 people will die from chronic diseases in 2005

Projected global deaths by cause, all ages, 2005
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