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03 October 2017
Europe, International

Lancet’s Global Burden of Disease report 2017 has found that Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is already the second highest killer all over the world, accounting for 5.36% of total deaths, and just after ischaemic heart disease. Moreover, up to 5 respiratory diseases, both communicable and non-communicable, have scored within the top 10 killers worldwide.

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Newsletter092017 Lancet GBD 2016 1990 25

The World Health Organisation foresaw that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) would become the 3rd cause of death worldwide by 2030. The bad news is that the Global Burden of Disease 2016 Study group, formed by 1,800 scientists worldwide looking at health trends and measurements towards the Sustainable Development Goals, confirmed a profound shift towards deaths at older ages since 1990, with ischaemic heart disease and COPD as the leading causes of premature mortality.

According to the 2017 report, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, chronic respiratory diseases contributed 8.96% of non-communicable diseases deaths in 2016, with COPD leading to the most deaths from these conditions: 2.93 million deaths. Moreover, only between 2010 and 2016, COPD has moved up from the 3rd to the 2nd cause of death worldwide. Newsletter092017 Lancet GBD 2016 25

Europe, not scoring better

While worldwide the death toll due to COPD is increasing, the trend does not change in high-income countries, where COPD steps up from the 8th to the 6th cause of death, and from the 6th to the 4th in middle income countries. European countries are condensed between both income categories.

Please find the Global Burden of Disease here.

Modelling and charts have been extracted from