World health report

Press release

The Ten Biggest Killers

About 52 million people died from all causes in 1995, according to the report. Of these, more than 17 million were killed by infectious diseases.

  • Acute lower respiratory infections such as pneumonia killed 4.4 million people, about 4 million of whom were children.
  • Diarrhoeal diseases, including cholera, typhoid and dysentery, spread chiefly by contaminated water or food, killed 3.1 million, most of them children.
  • Tuberculosis killed almost 3.1 million, mostly adults.
  • Malaria killed 2.1 million people, including 1 million children.
  • Hepatitis B infections killed more than 1.1 million people.
  • HIV/AIDS killed more than 1 million people.
  • Measles killed more than 1 million children.
  • Neonatal tetanus killed almost 460 000 infants.
  • Whooping cough (pertussis) killed 355 000 children.
  • Intestinal worm diseases killed at least 135 000 people.