Mortality and disease burden (DALYs) in females, 2004
Situation and trends
Over recent years there has been a gradual shift in the main causes of death and disease away from infectious diseases, such as diarrhoea and pneumonia towards non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and cancers. This health transition is occurring at different rates in different countries. In low-income countries, the dominant causes of death remain infectious and parasitic diseases (including malaria), and perinatal conditions. By contrast, in high-income countries, nine out of the ten leading causes of death are due to noncommunicable conditions, including cancer. Globally, most deaths among both women and men are due to noncommunicable conditions, which account for about 6 out of 10 deaths with communicable, maternal, perinatal and nutritional conditions accounting for just under one third of all deaths.
In richer countries, death rates for children and young women are very low, and most deaths occur after 60 years of age from noncommunicable diseases. In poorer countries, the picture is quite different: the population is on average younger, death rates among children are higher, and most female deaths occur among girls, adolescents and younger adult women, mainly from communicable diseases.