Conflict and violence not the biggest killers
Heart disease and tobacco ranked with conflict and violence among the world’s biggest killers last year, while poor diets and mental disorders caused people the greatest ill health, according to a large international study.
The Global Burden of Disease study was undertaken by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and was published yesterday in The Lancet medical journal.
‘‘Death is a powerful motivator, both for individuals and for countries, to address diseases that have been killing us at high rates. But we’ve been much less motivated to address issues leading to illnesses,’’ institute director Christopher Murray said.
He said a ‘‘triad of troubles ’’ — obesity, conflict, and mental illness
— is emerging as a ‘‘stubborn and persistent barrier to active and vigorous lifestyles’’.
The study, involving more than 2500 researchers in about 130 countries, found that in 2016, poor diet was associated with nearly one in five deaths worldwide.