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The World in Medicine
June 18, 2008

Global Mortality Trends

JAMA. 2008;299(23):2737. doi:10.1001/jama.299.23.2737-a

Chronic conditions such as heart disease and stroke have overtaken infectious diseases as the leading causes of death globally and will cause more than three-quarters of all deaths by 2030, according to a new report released in May by the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int /entity/whosis/whostat/EN_WHS08_Full.pdf).

Projections suggest a massive shift in the distribution of deaths over the next 25 years, according to the report, World Health Statistics 2008. Between 2004 and 2030, deaths from cardiovascular disease will increase from 17.1 million to 23.4 million and deaths from cancer will increase from 7.4 million to 11.8 million.