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Say 'Aaah' | Vitals

Report on the World

May 17, 1999

The World Health Report 1998, from the World Health Organization, reveals facts and makes predictions about several areas, including the health of adults and children:

* In developed countries, noncommunicable diseases will remain dominant. Heart disease and stroke have declined as causes of death in recent decades, while death rates from some cancers have risen.

* About 1.8 million adults died of AIDS in 1997, and the annual death toll is likely to continue to rise for some years.

* Diabetes cases in adults will more than double globally from 143 million in 1997 to 300 million by 2025, largely because of dietary and other lifestyle factors.

* In general, more than 15 million adults, ages 20-64, are dying every year. Most of these deaths are premature and preventable.

* Spectacular progress in reducing the mortality rate in children younger than 5 is projected to continue. There were about 10 million such deaths in 1997, compared with 21 million in 1955.

* About 50% of deaths of children younger than 5 are associated with malnutrition.

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