WHO: Deaths from noncommunicable diseases now surpass infectious diseases deaths

Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases now outnumber infectious diseases as the "top killers globally," according to a new report from the World Health Organization. 

The report, "Invisible numbers: The true extent of noncommunicable disease and what to do about them," found noncommunicable diseases are responsible for nearly three-quarters of global deaths, killing 41 million people every year. That includes 17 million people under the age of 70 who die prematurely, according to the report. The vast majority of premature deaths are taking place in low-and-middle-income-countries. 

Cardiovascular diseases account for the most noncommunicable deaths, followed by cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and mental health conditions. The WHO identified tobacco use, unhealthy diet, harmful use of alcohol and lack of physical activity as the main risk factors for noncommunicable diseases. 

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