Cancer Tops Heart Disease As The No. 1 Cause Of Death

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the major cause of death among middle-aged adults around the world; however, in high-income countries deaths from cancer have become twice as frequent as those from CVD.

The findings come from the first large prospective international study documenting the frequency of common diseases and death rates in high-, middle– and low-income countries using a standardized approach. The research, published in The Lancet presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress, is from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study led by the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences in Hamilton, Canada.

For this paper, the research involved more than 162,500 adults aged 35 to 70 from 21 countries who were followed for a median of 9.5 years.

The fact that cancer deaths are now twice as frequent as CVD deaths in high-income countries indicates a transition in the predominant causes of death in middle age,” said Salim Yusuf, principal investigator of the study, executive director of PHRI and a professor of medicine at McMaster.

As CVD declines in many countries because of prevention and treatment, cancer mortality will likely become the leading cause of death globally in the future.

“The high mortality in poorer countries is not due to a higher burden of risk factors, but likely other factors including lower quality and less health care.

The high-income countries (HIC) in the study were Canada, Saudi Arabia, Sweden and United Arab Emirates. The middle-income countries (MIC) were Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Columbia, Iran, Malaysia, Palestine, Philippines, Poland, Turkey and South Africa. The lower-income
countries (LIC) were Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Source: https://brighterworld.mcmaster.ca