Chronic Disease Top Cause of Death Worldwide

Lifestyle-related ailments overtake illness as No. 1 killer
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2008 3:22 PM CDT
Chronic Disease Top Cause of Death Worldwide
China's Margaret Chan, left, Director-General of the World Health Organization WHO, talks during the 61th WHO assembly at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, May 19, 2008. (AP Photo/KEYSTONE/Magali Girardin)   (AP Photo)

Chronic ailments such as heart disease have become the top causes of death around the world, Reuters reports. Infectious disease, such as tuberculosis and AIDS, has traditionally been the planet's number-one killer. But new World Health Organization stats show noncommunicable conditions, many of which are associated with a Western lifestyle, are killing more people, and the numbers are projected to continue climbing. (More World Health Organization stories.)

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