WHO Releases Global Mortality Data for 2011

Categories: Policy.

The reports are available online.

These estimates include 44 communicable, maternal, perinatal and nutritional conditions, 78 non-communicable diseases, and 10 categories of injury mortality. The estimates are presented for the world as a whole, for each of the WHO regions, for low to high-income country groups and for millennium development goal regions. The results highlight change from the year 2000 to 2011.

In general total mortality for the world increased from an estimated 52 494 000 deaths in 2000 to 54 591 000 in 2011 out of a world population of 6 938 255 000. Non-communicable disease accounted for the majority of deaths (66.4%) in 2011 with cardiovascular conditions contributing 30.4% and cancer 14.4%. The communicable, maternal and nutritional mortality was 24.5% of the total, down from 31% n 2000. Deaths from HIV were 1.591 million or 2.9% of all deaths and TB made up 1.8%. Intentional and unintentional injuries made up 9.1% of deaths.

These estimates are useful to help understand the need for palliative care at the end of life. The Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance is still working with WHO to reach agreement on the diseases and conditions that require palliative care and expects to publish these results later this year in an Atlas of Palliative Care at the End-of-Life.

The need for palliative care is much greater than just at the end of life. However mortality data helps to acknowledge that there are many conditions that will benefit from palliative care. Country specific mortality data should be released around the end of 2013.