Leading Death Causes
Leading Death Causes

Top 10 Leading Causes of Death

James Israelsen
By James Israelsen, Associate Writer
Published April 23, 2018

Each year, an estimated 57 million people die around the globe. Over half of of these, were caused by the top 10 causes of death. Some of these causes are from deadly diseases and others are from natural causes. So what are these most deadly diseases and what are the natural causes of death? Let's take a closer look.

  • Ischemic Heart Disease: 8.76 million deaths per year.[3][5]
  • Coronary Disease
    Ischemia occurs when arteries narrow due to fat build-up on their inner walls, which reduces blood flow to the heart, starving it of oxygen. Mild forms of ischemia include angina pectoris, or pain in the chest, and its most severe manifestation, heart attack.

  • Stroke: 6.24 million deaths per year.[4][5]
  • Death Causes Stroke
    Strokes occur when the blood supply to the brain is cut off by a blood clot. Time is crucial when dealing with a stroke victim, as brain cells begin to die within minutes, and, unless treated, death follows swiftly after.

  • Lower Respiratory Infections: 3.19 million deaths per year.[5]
  • Lung Disease
    Lower respiratory infections include a range of illnesses such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and edema. Symptoms include fever, difficulty breathing, and fatigue. These infections pose great risks to the elderly or those with weakened immune systems.

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: 3.17 million deaths per year.[5]
  • Death Causes COPD
    Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease can be caused or exacerbated by smoking. This disease, whose two main forms are chronic bronchitis and emphysema, makes it difficult to breathe deeply and can lead to a weakening of the lungs and eventual death.

  • Lung Cancer: 1.69 million deaths per year.[5]
  • Death from Smoking
    Smoking poses several health risks, some of the most serious being trachea, bronchial, and lung cancers, the fifth leading cause of death worldwide. Non-smokers can suffer from lung cancer as well, but the risks are much higher for smokers.

  • Diabetes Mellitus: 1.59 million deaths per year.[1][5]
  • Diabetes dangers
    A metabolic disorder that affects the body’s ability to absorb and utilize the energy in food, diabetes leads to fluctuating blood sugar levels, putting those who suffer from it at risk of hyperglycemia, as well as more serious downstream problems like stroke and heart failure.

  • Alzheimer’s Disease: 1.54 million deaths per year.[2][5]
  • Dementia Patient
    While many don’t think of Alzheimer’s as a fatal illness, it poses great dangers through the risk of complications such as blood clots and infections. A progressive brain disease, Alzheimer’s causes abnormal protein deposits to build up in the brain, which can lead to serious problems.

  • Diarrhoeal Disease: 1.39 million deaths per year.[5]
  • diarrheal disease
    Diarrhea causes the body to expel waste too quickly and frequently, which leads to severe dehydration and, in impoverished countries, often death. An estimated 2,195 children die every day from diarrhea, more than die from AIDS, malaria, and measles combined.

  • Tuberculosis: 1.37 million deaths per year.[5]
  • Tuberculosis lungs
    This infectious disease that targets the lungs has been afflicting people since ancient times and is highly contagious. It is estimated that up to one third of the world’s population has TB, mostly in developing countries.

  • Traffic Accidents: 1.34 million deaths per year.[5]
  • Automobile crash
    Car crashes are a ubiquitous problem, and their causes range from driver error to bad weather and mechanical failure. Each year there are over a million traffic-related deaths worldwide. These rates are far higher in lower-income countries.


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