List of causes of death by rate
|This article is outdated. (November 2010)|
The following is a list of the causes of human deaths worldwide for the year 2002, arranged by their associated mortality rates. There were 57,029,000 deaths tabulated for that year. Some causes listed include deaths also included in more specific subordinate causes (as indicated by the "Group" column), and some causes are omitted, so the percentages do not sum to 100. According to the World Health Organization, about 58 million people died in 2005.
It is estimated that of the roughly 150,000 people who die each day across the globe, about two thirds—100,000 per day—die of age-related causes. In industrialized nations the proportion is much higher, reaching 90%. Thus, albeit indirectly, biological aging is by far the leading cause of death.
An alternative view of mortality is to consider the estimated loss in life-years from causes of death other than those which are age-related. An infographic prepared by Thomas Porostocky was published in 2013 which presents a view on comparing 2005 to 2010 in this "life-years lost annually" dimension.
Causes ranked by frequency
|This section's factual accuracy is disputed. (December 2013)|
Note: tinted backgrounds indicate items that also appear in subsequent table.
|B||Infectious and parasitic diseases||23.04||211.3||221.7||200.4|
|A.1||Ischemic heart disease||12.64||115.8||121.4||110.1|
|C||Malignant neoplasms (cancers)||12.49||114.4||126.9||101.7|
|A.2||Cerebrovascular disease (Stroke)||9.66||88.5||81.4||95.6|
|B.1.1||Lower respiratory tract infections||6.81||62.4||62.2||62.6|
|D.1||Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease||4.82||44.1||45.1||43.1|
|G||Intentional injuries (Suicide, Violence, War, etc.)||2.84||26.0||37.0||14.9|
|E.1||Road traffic accidents||2.09||19.1||27.8||10.4|
|A.3||Hypertensive heart disease||1.60||14.6||13.4||15.9|
|I||Diseases of the genitourinary system||1.49||13.6||14.1||13.1|
|F.1||Cirrhosis of the liver||1.38||12.6||16.1||9.1|
|A.4||Inflammatory heart disease||0.71||6.5||6.7||6.2|
|H.1||Alzheimer's disease and other dementias||0.70||6.4||4.7||8.1|
|C.7||Lymphomas, multiple myeloma||0.59||5.4||5.4||5.4|
|A.5||Rheumatic heart disease||0.57||5.3||4.4||6.1|
|C.8||Oral and oropharynx cancers||0.56||5.1||7.1||3.1|
|F.2||Peptic ulcer disease||0.46||4.2||5.0||3.5|
|B.7||Sexually transmitted diseases excluding HIV/AIDS||0.32||2.9||2.9||2.9|
|–||Neoplasms other than malignant||0.26||2.4||2.4||2.4|
|J.2||Iron deficiency anemia||0.24||2.2||1.5||2.9|
|B.9||Tropical diseases excluding malaria||0.23||2.1||2.5||1.6|
|H.4||Alcohol use disorders||0.16||1.5||2.5||0.4|
|H.5||Drug use disorders||0.15||1.4||2.2||0.5|
|B.1.2||Upper respiratory infections||0.13||1.2||1.2||1.2|
|C.16||Melanoma and other skin cancers||0.12||1.1||1.1||1.0|
|I.2||Benign prostatic hyperplasia||0.06||0.5||1.0||0.0|
Malnutrition as an underlying cause
||The neutrality of this section is disputed. (February 2011)|
Hunger and poor nutrition, directly or as an underlying cause for the fatal diseases listed above, causes 36 million deaths per year accounting for more than 1 death each second on average.[verification needed] Statistically, a child under five dies every 5 seconds on average as a direct or indirect result of poor nutrition. This is 6 million children per year, more than half of all child deaths.[verification needed]
Developed vs. developing economies
|Causes of death in undeveloped countries||Number of deaths||Causes of death in developed countries||Number of deaths|
|HIV-AIDS||2,678,000||Ischaemic heart disease||3,512,000|
|Lower respiratory infections||2,643,000||Cerebrovascular disease||3,346,000|
|Ischaemic heart disease||2,484,000||Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease||1,829,000|
|Diarrhea||1,793,000||Lower respiratory infections||1,180,000|
|Cerebrovascular disease||1,381,000||Lung cancer||938,000|
|Childhood diseases||1,217,000||Car accident||669,000|
|Tuberculosis||1,021,000||Hypertensive heart disease||635,000|
|Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease||748,000||Tuberculosis||571,000|
By age group
- WHO (2005). "Cancer".
- Aubrey D.N.J, de Grey (2007). "Life Span Extension Research and Public Debate: Societal Considerations" (PDF). Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology 1 (1, Article 5). doi:10.2202/1941-6008.1011. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
- Porostocky, Thomas (December 2013). "Want To Save Lives? You Need a Map of What's Doing Us In.". INFOPORN. WIRED. p. 31.
- World Health Organization (2004). "Annex Table 2: Deaths by cause, sex and mortality stratum in WHO regions, estimates for 2002" (pdf). The world health report 2004 - changing history. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Group is a value showing the relationship of groups of causes; for instance, statistics for "A" (cardiovascular diseases) include those for "A.1" (ischemic heart disease), "A.2" (cerebrovascular disease), and so on. If no value is shown for a cause, there are no other causes grouped with that cause.
- Jean Ziegler "The Right to Food: Report by the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Mr. Jean Ziegler, Submitted in Accordance with Commission on Human Rights Resolution 2000/10". United Nations, February 7, 2001, p. 5. "On average, 62 million people die each year, of whom probably 36 million (58 per cent) directly or indirectly as a result of nutritional deficiencies, infections, epidemics or diseases which attack the body when its resistance and immunity have been weakened by undernourishment and hunger.".
- Commission on Human Rights. "The right to food : Commission on Human Rights resolution 2002/25". Office Of The High Commissioner For Human Rights, United Nations, April 22, 2002, p. 2. "every year 36 million people die, directly or indirectly, as a result of hunger and nutritional deficiencies, most of them women and children, particularly in developing countries, in a world that already produces enough food to feed the whole global population".
- United Nations Information Service. "Independent Expert On Effects Of Structural Adjustment, Special Rapporteur On Right To Food Present Reports: Commission Continues General Debate On Economic, Social And Cultural Rights". United Nations, March 29, 2004, p. 6. "Around 36 million people died from hunger directly or indirectly every year.".
- Food and Agriculture Organization Staff. "The State of Food Insecurity in the World, 2002: Food Insecurity : when People Live with Hunger and Fear Starvation". Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2002, p. 6. "6 million children under the age of five, die each year as a result of hunger."
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Economic and Social Dept. "The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2004: Monitoring Progress Towards the World Food Summit and Millennium Development Goals". Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2004, p. 8. "Undernourishment and deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals cost more than 5 million children their lives every year".
- Jacques Diouf. "The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2004: Monitoring Progress Towards the World Food Summit and Millennium Development Goals". Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2004, p. 4. "one child dies every ﬁve seconds as a result of hunger and malnutrition".
- Food and Agriculture Organization, Economic and Social Dept. "The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2005: Eradicating World Hunger - Key to Achieving the Millennium Development Goals". Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2005, p. 18. "Hunger and malnutrition are the underlying cause of more than half of all child deaths, killing nearly 6 million children each year – a figure that is roughly equivalent to the entire preschool population of Japan. Relatively few of these children die of starvation. The vast majority are killed by neonatal disorders and a handful of treatable infectious diseases, including diarrhoea, pneumonia, malaria and measles. Most would not die if their bodies and immune systems had not been weakened by hunger and malnutrition moderately to severely underweight, the risk of death is five to eight times higher.".
- Human Rights Council. "Resolution 7/14. The right to food". United Nations, March 27, 2008, p. 3. "6 million children still die every year from hunger-related illness before their fifth birthday".
- National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 50, No. 15, September 16, 2002 as compiled at 
- Bureau of Labor Statistics; NATIONAL CENSUS OF FATAL OCCUPATIONAL INJURIES IN 2006