When people take a minute and think of the deadliest diseases ever, their minds probably jump to incurable ones that grab headlines. But the truth is, many of these diseases don’t rank high in the top ten causes of deaths in the yearly charts. An estimated 56.5 million people passed away in 2016, and 70 percent of them due to hidden diseases that progress slowly and which can be cured. Read on to see the top diseases causing the most deaths on our planet, at least according to the World Health Organization.

 

Ischemic heart disease

This first one is no surprise to anyone. Although its reign is indisputable, and it is indeed the leading cause of death worldwide, the actual mortality rates have declined slightly in many European countries and the States, due to strict food regulations. It might also be due to improved public health education, better access to healthcare, and other forms of prevention.

However, we should not sleep on it. In many developing nations in Africa, Asia, and South America, mortality rates of CAD and its associated syndromes are on the rise. Our increasing lifespan, constant socioeconomic changes, and chaotic lifestyles play a major role in this rise.

Stroke

A stroke ultimately occurs when a vital artery in your brain’s vascular system is blocked or it leaks. This urgent problem causes the stressed and oxygen-deprived brain cells to start dying within a matter of minutes. During a stroke, patients feel sudden general numbness and confusion. If left untreated for too long, a stroke can lead to long-term disability and even death.

Actually, strokes are the leading causes which lead to long-term disabilities. Those lucky enough to receive treatment within three hours of having a stroke are less likely to develop those complications.

 

Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias

When people think of Alzheimer’s disease, they might think of a severe loss of memory, but they don’t usually think of death. Alzheimer’s is a progressive and unstoppable disease that destroys brain cells and interrupts normal mental functions, thus leading to memory loss. It is also one of the most ruthless and prevalent types of dementia, making up 80 percent of dementia cases. These patients usually die from complications, as it is a multifactorial disease.

 

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is still one of the most widespread killers of our species. It is a bacterial infection, caused by the notorious Mycobacterium tuberculosis. As you might already know, contraction of the bacteria is airborne, but it is rather difficult to get.

Nonetheless, it is one of the leading agents of death for people coupled with HIV and not only those, as it can kill a fully healthy person even if his or her immune system is intact. An estimated 1.35 million people fell to tuberculosis in 2012, contributing to about 2.4% of all deaths worldwide.

Diarrheal disease

We’ve all experienced it some extent, but few know how bad things can get. Diarrhea is characterized by eliminating watery fecal matter more than three or four times a day, no matter the food you ate or the amount of water you consumed. Suffering from diarrhea over the course of a large number of days depletes the body of water and salt.

The WHO roughly estimates that diarrheal diseases claimed at least 2.46 million lives in 2014. It is the second cause of death of children under the age of five. This condition contributes to about 4.4% of all deaths globally.

Luckily, it can be prevented and treated in many ways. One of them is by investing in a high-quality and efficient electric mosquito swatter, to keep those insects away since they are vectors for most infectious diseases. Another way of doing that is by buying a sitz bath to help alleviate pain in case you suffer from the inflammatory bowel disease.