Medicine

Cancer 'biggest middle-age killer in rich nations'

Cancer 'biggest middle-age killer in rich nations'

Moreover, the researchers noted that cancer could become the leading cause of death globally within a few decades if heart disease rates continue to fall, the article reported.

Cancer is now the No. 1 cause of death in wealthy countries, killing twice as many people as heart disease-which remains the leading cause of death for middle-aged adults worldwide, Reuters reports.

Heart disease is more deadly in poorer countries, Professor Yusuf said, because they may not have access to treatments like heart surgeries or drugs such as statins or blood pressure medications.

Such data rings true for India, whose top spot for causes of death, cardiac disease, claimed the lives of 28.1 percent of the total deaths for 2016. These included 35,793 from five low-income countries, including India.

A second report from the PURE study explored the relative contribution - population attributable factor, or PAF - of 14 modifiable risk factors to cardiovascular disease among 155,722 community-dwelling, middle-aged people without a prior history of heart disease, within the same 21 countries.

The data comes from a large prospective global study documenting the frequency of common diseases in high, middle and low-income countries.

The report also showed that cardiovascular disease (CVD) has persisted in middle and low-income countries contributing to 17·7 million deaths that occurred in the world in 2017.

Cancer has topped heart disease as the biggest killer in some of the world's richest countries, a new study found.

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These included diet, behavioural and socioeconomic factors, they said.

Darryl Leong, the co-lead author of the study, and assistant professor of medicine at McMaster University, said: "The implications are that in HIC, while continued efforts to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease should continue, new efforts to reduce cancer are required". Metabolic risk factors were the largest contributory risk factor globally (41.2%), with hypertension (22.3%) the leading factor within this group.

It conversely found that non-infectious diseases such as cancer and pneumonia were less common in low-income states than in richer ones.

There is an inverse association between use of hospital care and effective medication versus deaths, suggesting that lower quality health care may be responsible, at least in part, for the higher mortality in poorer countries.

Dr V Mohan, Director of Madras Diabetes Research Foundation and one of the study authors, told The Indian Express that household air pollution is becoming an important cause of overall and cardiovascular mortality in low-income countries.

However, the relative importance of risk factors for CVD cases and death varied widely between countries at different stages of economic development.

"Despite limitations, Stephanie H Read & Sarah H Wild conclude in a Linked Comment: "[These] findings can inform the effective use of limited resources-for example, by indicating the importance of improving education across the world and improving diet and reducing household air pollution in less developed countries. The middle-income countries (MIC) were Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Columbia, Iran, Malaysia, Palestine, Philippines, Poland, Turkey and South Africa.