Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Not what we expected, but WHO would know?

If this sounds like a famous Abbott and Costello "Who's On First" comedy routine, claimed to be their best ever, sober up, it is not comedic at all; it is not only deadly serious, but rather surprising for most North Americans.

Associated Press - Sept. 13, 2011 - WHO issues chronic disease country scorecards

The World Health Organization published a report Wednesday showing the prevalence of Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, stroke, diabetes and cardiovascular illness around the world, along with countries' abilities to cope with the growing number of people affected by them.

So-called NCDs killed more than 36 million people in 2008, the most recent year for which global data is available. About a quarter of those deaths _ some 9 million _ were classed as "premature" because they occurred in people under 60, WHO said.

Now, for something really interesting:

The WHO mortality map shown in the preceeding link looks swell (lowest mortality rates) for North America, most of Europe, and about a third of latin America, doesn't it?

There is just one thing, you are looking at a distribution for FEMALE mortality rates only. To view the corresponding rates for males, click on the "View more indicators" tab near top left and select Male.

My, how the map changes: only Canada and Australia still reflect the lowest mortaliy rates!
Common, modifiable risk factors underlie the major NCDs. They include tobacco, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet, insufficient physical activity, overweight/obesity, raised blood pressure, raised blood sugar and raised cholesterol.
Submarines are always silent and strange.



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