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Top killers are listed




GENEVA

Heart ailments, infectious diseases and cancer remain the world’s top three killers, the U.N. health agency said this week.

Heart attacks and related problems are the top killer, claiming 29 percent of people who die each year, the World Health Organization said in a report on the global burden of disease. In second place, infectious diseases lead to 16.2 percent of worldwide deaths.

Cancer, in third, claims 12.6 percent of global deaths, said the 146-page report, which is based on death registration data from 112 countries and estimates where reporting is incomplete.

The figures are from 2004, the most recent records available on a wide scale, officials from WHO said. But the rankings are unchanged since 1990 when WHO first did a global check.

Filling out the top 12 causes of death are respiratory infections including pneumonia in fourth place, 7.2 percent; respiratory diseases, including asthma and allergies, 6.9 percent; accidental injuries and drownings, 6.6 percent; health problems of fetuses and newborns, 5.4 percent; digestive diseases, 3.5 percent; suicide, murder and conflict, 2.8 percent; neuropsychiatric disorders, 2.1 percent; diabetes, 1.9 percent; and maternal health problems related to pregnancy or birth 0.9 percent.


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