The diseases of our future

i-193a756656ff0cfb8aa99233074f4e1f-1-23-07 grim reaper.jpg The World Health Organization (WHO) has released its predictions for global mortality in the future. In an article published in the November 2006 issue of PLoS Medicine WHO researchers predict the things people will be dying of by 2030. The researchers used 3 different models-optimistic, pessimistic and baseline (middle-ground) scenarios-combined with things like income, human capital, tobacco smoking and body mass index to predict the global disease burdens of the future.

Some interesting things they predict are:

1.In general, global life expectancy will increase.
2.Death in children under 5 will decrease by nearly 50%.
3.The proportion of people dying from non-communicable diseases like cancer and heart disease will increase by 10%.
4.Overall death from infectious diseases will decrease except with HIV/AIDS deaths, which will rise-despite more widespread distribution of antiviral drugs.
5.Interestingly, tobacco-related deaths will kill 50% more people than HIV/AIDS and road traffic accidents will surpass heart disease as a killer.

This study is important because it provides much needed information to health organizations and allows them to plan, prepare and implement health policies for the future.

By. Karen Ventii

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