World Health World Disease
The world health organization has a global
perspective on human diseases. They track world health closely and report data
at regular intervals. Who is active in coordinating responses to emerging
infection epidemics. The organization is mis-named; it should be
called World Disease Organization. The following summary was developed from the
World Health (Disease) Report 2002:
“The world is living dangerously – either because it has
little choice, which is often the case among the poor, or because it is making
the wrong choices in terms of its consumption and its activities. Indeed, there
is evidence that these risk factors are part of a “risk transition” showing
marked changes in patterns of living in many parts of the world. In many
developing countries rapid increases in body weight are being recorded,
particularly among children, adolescents and young adults. Obesity rates have
risen threefold or even more in some parts of North America, Eastern Europe, the
Middle East, the Pacific Islands, Australasia and China since 1980. Changes in
food processing and production and in agricultural and trade policies have
affected the daily diet of hundreds of millions of people…Eating fruit and
vegetables can help prevent cardiovascular diseases and some cancers, low intake
of them as part of diet is responsible for almost three million deaths a year
from those diseases. At the same time, changes in living and working patterns
have led to less physical activity and less physical labor. Physical inactivity
causes about 15% of some cancers, diabetes and heart disease.”
iThe report found that there are 170 million children in
poor countries who are underweight and over three million of them die each year
as a result. There are more than one billion adults worldwide who are overweight
and at least 300 million who are obese. Among these, about half a million people
in North America and Western Europe die from obesity-related diseases every
year. These factors are increasing in most countries.
Malnutrition remains the leading cause of disease burden
among hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest people and a major cause of
death, especially among young children. All ages are at risk, but underweight is
most prevalent among children under five years of age, and WHO estimates that
approximately 27% of children in this age group are underweight. This caused an
estimated 3.4 million deaths in 2000, including about 1.8 million in Africa and
1.2 million in countries in Asia. It was a contributing factor in 60% of all
child deaths in developing countries.
Iron deficiency is one of the most prevalent nutrient
deficiencies in the world, affecting an estimated two billion people, and
causing almost a million deaths a year. Young children and their mothers are the
most commonly and severely affected because of the high iron demands of infant
growth and pregnancy. Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of acquired
blindness in children. Iodine deficiency is probably the single most preventable
cause of mental retardation and brain damage. Zinc deficiency causes short
stature, impaired immune function and other disorders and is a significant cause
of respiratory infections, malaria and diarrheal disease.
High blood pressure and high blood cholesterol are closely
related to excessive consumption of fatty, sugary and salty foods. They become
even more lethal when combined with tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption…
tobacco smoking caused an estimated 4.9 million deaths in the year 2000, one
million more than 1990, with the increase being most marked in developing
Global alcohol consumption has increased mostly in
developing countries. Worldwide, alcohol caused 1.8 million deaths, equal to 4%
of the global disease burden; the proportion was greatest in the Americas and
Europe. Alcohol was estimated to cause, worldwide, 20–30% of esophageal cancer,
liver disease, epilepsy, motor vehicle accidents, and homicide and other
The WHO 2012 report summary:
Mortality and burden of disease from unhealthy environments:
In 2012, 12.6 million people died as a result of living or working in an unhealthy environment, representing 23% of all deaths.
When accounting for both death and disability, the fraction of the global burden of disease due to the environment is 22%.
In children under five years, up to 26% of all deaths could be prevented, if environmental risks were removed.
68% of these attributable deaths and 56% of attributable DALYs could be estimated with evidence-based comparative risk assessment methods, the impacts of other environmental exposures were assessed through expert opinion.
Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been remarkable, including, for instance, poverty reduction, education improvements and increased access to safe drinking water. Globally, the HIV, tuberculosis and malaria epidemics were “turned around”, and child mortality and maternal mortality decreased greatly (53% and 44%, respectively, since 1990) despite falling short of the MDG targets. The SDGs set a new health goal (“Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages”)
with a broad set of targets for 2030. The target on universal health coverage (UHC) provides the platform for integrated action across all 13 health targets.
WHO publishes a bulletin of ongoing