Cancer Overtakes Cardiovascular Disease as No. 1 Cause of Death in Wealthy Nations

Cancer and Bacteria
Print icon
Roxanne Nelson, RN, BSN
Medscape

Cancer is now the leading cause of death in high-income countries, where it is responsible for twice as many deaths as cardiovascular disease, according to findings from a new global report.

“The world is witnessing a new epidemiologic transition among the different categories of noncommunicable diseases, with cardiovascular disease no longer the leading cause of death in high-income countries,” lead author Gilles Dagenais, MD, professor emeritus, Laval University, Quebec, Canada, said in a statement.

However, worldwide, cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of mortality. Cardiovascular disease-related deaths were 2.5 times more common among middle-aged adults in low-income countries than in HICs, although there was a substantially lower burden of cardiovascular disease risk factors in these populations as compared with wealthier countries.

The study authors suggest that the higher cardiovascular disease-related mortality observed in low-income countries may primarily be due to a lower quality of healthcare — first hospitalization rates and the use of cardiovascular disease medication were lower in both LICs and middle-income countries.

“Our report found cancer to be the second most common cause of death globally in 2017, accounting for 26 percent of all deaths,” commented Dagenais.

“But as cardiovascular disease rates continue to fall, cancer could likely become the leading cause of death worldwide within just a few decades,” he added.

The findings come from the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiologic (PURE) study, published online on Sept. 3 in the Lancet.

The high-income countries were Canada, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, and the United Arab Emirates.

The study did not include the United States, but previous research shows that cancer is now the leading cause of death, having surpassed CVD in about half of the states, and it is the leading cause of death in the Hispanic population, as reported by Medscape Medical News.

The middle-income countries were Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Columbia, Iran, Malaysia, Palestine, Philippines, Poland, Turkey and South Africa.

The low-income countries were Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

For information about cardiovascular disease, visit the Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute here

For information about cancer, visit the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute here.

 

 

 

 


What's New


The Link Between Erectile Dysfunction and Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States and worldwide. For the man who regularly consults with his doctor, however, heart disease and its potentially fatal consequences are usually avoidable. Dr. Waseem Chaudhry is a preventive cardiologist at the Hartford HealthCare Tallwood Men’s Health Center....

2020 Census

Why the Census Is a Healthcare Issue

By Jeffrey A. Flaks Hartford HealthCare President and Chief Executive Officer and Sarah S. Lewis Hartford HealthCare Vice President, Health Equity Among the New Year’s resolutions that you’ve made (or maybe already broken), here’s one that should be easy to keep: Complete your U.S. Census form, and encourage everyone you...

Exercise and Your Heart

February Walk to Wellness: The Best Exercises for Your Heart

The heart is a muscle and needs exercise just as much as other muscles in the body, but just how much exercise is enough to maintain good health? Similar to a prescription for any medication, exercise can be prescribed for the prevention, treatment and/or control of almost any chronic condition,...

Cancer/Yoga

A Healthier You: Upcoming Classes, Events in February

Got a bad  case of cabin fever? Snap out of it with upcoming classes on Medicare Advantage, surgical weight loss, youth mental health first aid and car-seat safety for mothers-to-be. That’s only a sample. Find a support  group that might help you, too. For a complete schedule of classes and...

Coronary calcium score.

This 5-Minute Test Reveals Your Heart Disease Risk

Do you know your coronary calcium score? Screening helps you understand your risk of heart disease Coronary artery disease, also known as heart disease, is the No. 1 cause of death for men and women. Knowing your risk before you experience symptoms could save your life. Thanks to coronary calcium...