They say that the majority of accidents happen in the home, but actually you’re much more likely to die in a car accident than you are from any home-related incident. This is just one example of how little we know about the biggest threats to our health and well-being, and in general it would surprise many to learn what is most likely to kill them. Read on for a list of the top 10 causes of death, and find out if your fears have been misplaced.
10 Maternal Conditions
The 10th most common cause of death is pregnancy. Specifically it’s ‘maternal conditions’ which refer to the period immediately following the end of a pregnancy, and often this is the result of a prior existing condition. This accounts for 0.89% of deaths.
9 Intentional Injury
It may come as a shock to learn that one of the top 10 causes of death is our fellow man. Intentional injury accounts for 2.48% of all deaths and includes things like war, fighting and suicide.
8 Digestive Diseases
Digestive diseases include anything relating to the gastrointestinal tract, which in turn is comprised of the rectum, liver, pancreas and gall bladder. While you can’t completely protect yourself against such problems, like many of the top ten causes of death it is possible to improve your odds by avoiding excessive amounts of alcohol and making sure to get plenty of fibre and water. Digestive diseases are responsible for 3.45% of all diseases and cause many deaths.
We don’t often think of diabetes as a fatal condition, but in fact it is one of the top ten causes of death and is responsible for 1.73% of deaths to be specific.
6 Prenatal Conditions
Prenatal conditions are once again conditions relating to pregnancy – this time in the lead up to birth. This causes 4.32% of deaths – many of which are in developing countries where the same care and treatment is not available.
5 Accidental Death
6.23% of deaths are caused by accidents, meaning they could probably have been avoided. As mentioned, the most common of these are traffic accidents (2.09% of deaths), with falls and drowning behind at 0.69% and 0.67%.
4 Respiratory Disease
Respiratory diseases are those that affect the lungs and respiratory tract and may ultimately cause asphyxiation. They cause up to 6.49% of deaths and one of the biggest causes is smoking. You’ll notice that many of the top causes of death are exacerbated by cigarettes in fact.
You might have expected cancer to be number one, but it’s still a high entry at number three. Technically referred to as ‘malignant neoplasms’, cancer causes 13% of all deaths, with smoking being one of the highest risk factors once again. One of the best ways to combat cancer is to check yourself regularly and to see a doctor fast if you find any suspicious lumps or miscolorations.
2 Infectious Diseases
Infectious diseases include a great number of conditions including lower respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis (6.9%), HIV and AIDS (4.9%), diarrheal diseases (3.2% – dangerous as they can cause dehydration), tuberculosis (2.7%) and malaria (2.2%). Together they make up 23% of deaths and once again the majority of these will be in developing countries.
1 The Number One Killer… Cardiovascular Disease
The most common cause of death of all though is heart disease, which causes a huge 29% of deaths (and women aren’t any safer than men contrary to popular belief). The best way you can potentially extend your lifespan and keep the reaper at bay then is to protect your heart, and you can do this through exercise, through a good diet (avoid cholesterol) and once again to avoid smoking.