Perceptible Change in Mortality Profile

Today, Ischemic heart disease (29.1%) remains the top killer while the second cause of mortality has changed to brain stroke (9.4%)
Perceptible Change in Mortality Profile Perceptible Change in Mortality Profile

Data on deaths each year and their causes is one of the most important means for assessing the effectiveness of a country’s health system. The figures help national authorities to evaluate public health policy and focus on preventive measures.

Currently, the cause of death is recorded in a system developed by the office of the deputy for research and technology at the Health Ministry. A comprehensive program for registration of deaths was established in 2002 to improve district health networks’ record and certification of the causes of mortality, the Persian language weekly ‘Salamat’ reported.

Over the last decades, the ranking order of the leading causes of death has changed perceptibly. About two decades ago, Ischemic heart disease and road injury, flu and pneumonia, low birth weight, and stomach cancer were the five top leading causes of death in the country.

Today, Ischemic heart disease (29.1%) remains the top killer while the second cause of mortality has changed to brain stroke (9.4%). Currently, cancer (8%) and road accidents (4.2%) are third and fourth leading causes of death in Iran.

A comparative study of the figures indicates that road injury has dropped from the second to the fourth place; and cancer which wasn’t among the five top causes of death has taken third place.  

Based on official figures, road deaths have dropped from more than 27,000 in the year 2005 to 16,000 in 2015. But cancer (and consequently the deaths due to the disease) has increased from 47,000 new registered cases in 2005 to 90,000 in 2015.

Iran’s National Document in Prevention and Control of NCDs was unveiled in 2015. The plan aims to reduce the number of premature deaths from NCDs by 25% by 2025 through nine voluntary global targets and 25 indicators adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2013.

  Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy at birth of the global population was reported as 71.4 years in 2015.

Currently, life expectancy in Iran is 80 for women and 76.5 for men. According to the latest figures released by the Health Ministry, the figure is not the same in all the provinces. The lowest life expectancy was in Sistan-Baluchistan, Kurdistan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad, Ilam and South Khorasan provinces. Tehran and Gilan have the highest life expectancy.

Medical advances and improved living standards have contributed to higher life expectancy. But in almost all countries men die sooner than women because women tend to engage in fewer risky behaviors that are bad for health than men, and because they are the bigger beneficiaries of the advances in healthcare and living conditions.

Health Minister Seyed Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi says the reason Iranian women live five years longer than Iranian men is because “they are more loyal to their spouses and don’t indulge in risky behavior, and they take better care of their finances” which contributes to healthier living conditions.

According to a 2016 World Health Organization report, the life expectancy at birth is 75.8, 75.5, 74.5, 70.5, and 66.4 in Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Afghanistan while the figure is 81, 81.2, 82.2, 82.4, and 83.7 in Germany, UK, Canada, France and Japan, respectively.

The WHO also says cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number one cause of death globally. An estimated 17.5 million people died from CVDs in 2012, representing 31% of all global deaths.

Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing behavioral risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints