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How to Add Years to Your Life

A few years ago, one of the most important health organizations published what the top 10 causes of death were during a mortality study. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2019, there were 55.4 million deaths worldwide. From all these deaths, 55% of them were from the top 10 causes of death. Even though there are 10 causes, there are three leading topics that rule: cardiovascular, respiratory, and neonatal conditions. According to WHO, causes of death can be divided into 3 groups: communicable, noncommunicable, and injuries.

Communicable diseases refer to infectious and parasitic diseases, as well as maternal, perinatal and nutritional conditions. Thus, noncommunicable pertain to chronic diseases. The latter category, globally, was responsible for 7 out of the 10 leading causes of death in 2019. This was equivalent to 44% of all deaths around the world. As presented by the WHO Global Health Estimates, the top 10 causes of death are: ischaemic heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lower respiratory infections, neonatal conditions, trachea-bronchus-lung cancers, Alzheimer’s and other dementias, diarrhoeal diseases, diabetes mellitus, and kidney diseases.

As you can see, most of these causes are from noncommunicable diseases. Of course genetics play a huge factor on a lot of these illnesses. However, other lifestyle factors such activity level and diet, also play an essential role. Said factors are things that we have complete control over, but that sadly, we often times overlook. The data is there, so why is it that most people still decide to live a sedentary lifestyle full of poor nutritional choices? We must realize that the decisions that we make every day in terms of how we treat and nurture our body, could be either cutting or adding significant years to our lives. Exercising and having a healthy diet MUST become imperative in our lives not because of aesthetical reasons, but because our mortality rate depends on it.

Dani Ruiz


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