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

Handwashing

Why Soap and Water Is More Effective Than Hand Sanitizer Against COVID-19

Store shelves may be wiped clean of hand sanitizer but soap is more effective for protecting yourself from COVID-19, according to infectious disease specialists. “If at all possible, wash your hands with soap and water,” said Dr. Virginia Bieluch, the chief of infectious diseases at The Hospital of Central Connecticut, “If...

COVID-19 Test

Why People with Preexisting Conditions Are More at Risk of COVID-19

Risk is the buzzword during the COVID-19 pandemic and when it comes to people with underlying conditions like heart disease, diabetes or lung diseases like asthma, the chance that they will die from the virus can be as much as 10 times the average person’s chances. The American College of...

Jeffrey A. Flaks

A Message From Hartford HealthCare CEO Jeffrey Flaks

With the concerns about coronavirus and COVID-19, I want to assure you that Hartford HealthCare is doing everything possible to protect the safety and well-being of the people and the communities we serve, and our team of healthcare providers. Our goal is to be ready and prepared for whatever is...

Cancer/Yoga

A Healthier You: Upcoming Classes, Events in March

Got a bad  case of cabin fever? Snap out of it with upcoming classes on Medicare Advantage, surgical weight loss, joint replacement and how to cope with a new or chronic medical condition. That’s only a sample. Find a support  group that might help you, too. Then start your countdown...


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....