Deaths from road accidents, cancer and heart disease are set to soar over the next 20 years as the developing world's populations get richer and live longer, according to a study out this week.
As low and middle-income economies grow by 2030, mortality rates from noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, and road crashes due to increased car-ownership, will make up more than 30 percent of deaths worldwide, the World Health Organisation (WHO) found.
AdvertisementMeanwhile, deaths from factors currently associated with the developing world, such as nutritional deficiencies, malaria and tuberculosis, will fall, the Geneva-based organisation said in its "World Health Statistics 2008."
"Globally, deaths from cancer will increase from 7.4 million in 2004 to 11.8 million in 2030, and deaths from cardiovascular diseases will rise from 17.1 million to 23.4 million in the same period," the survey stated.
"Deaths due to road traffic accidents will increase from 1.3 million in 2004 to 2.4 million in 2030, primarily owing to increased motor vehicle ownership and use associated with economic growth in low- and middle-income countries.
The WHO statistics found that this increase in deaths from noncommunicable diseases will be accompanied by "large declines in mortality for the main communicable, maternal, perinatal and nutritional causes, including HIV infection, tuberculosis and malaria."
However, deaths worldwide from HIV/AIDS are expected to rise from 2.2 million in 2008 to a maximum of 2.4 million in 2012 before declining to 1.2 million in 2030.