You Tube The Reason People Die Early, in Each Country
Lost Years of Life
150,000 people are going to die today, and one of the brutally unfair realities of life is that where you are born can dramatically change how and at what age you die. There’s a really fascinating measurement called ‘years of life lost’ which measures how many years shy of the realistic life expectancy people die. So if a person can hope to live to age 86 but they die in a car accident 21, those 65 years are considered ‘lost years of life’ due to car accidents. It’s basically a way to measure why people are dying early.
Africa, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela
Hundreds of researchers from around the world collaborated to collect and analyze that data for each country and the result is this map.
It shows the leading cause of early death in each country for 2013. In Africa people die early mainly because of infectious diseases like pneumonia, malaria, diarrhea which are easily treated in places with stronger health infrastructures. And people are dying young in these places: 4 out of 10 deaths in these poor countries are among people under 15. Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia; even though half the population is forbidden to drive, traffic accidents are the number one cause of lost years of life. There’s a big trend among young guys to see how crazy they can get on the road. Between that and the lax speed limit enforcement, 19 people die every day on Saudi Arabia roads. It’s the same problem facing young guys in neighboring countries. Over in Venezuela, 25,000 people were killed in homicides last year making violence the leading cause of years lost.
Colombia, Syria and china
Only around 8% of crimes are prosecuted, so gang violence usually goes unchecked. It’s a similar situation in neighboring Colombia. In Syria where a bloody conflict rages on, war was the leading cause of lost life. In china, a lot of people are dying from stroke.
This is actually an indicator of a major transition in the region. As the economy in china has industrialized and surged over the past 3 decades, infectious diseases like the ones we saw in Africa, dropped dramatically due to better health infrastructure. But a stronger economy means eating more fat and sugar, moving less, and breathing in a lot more air pollution. Plus they are living longer. All of these factors increase the likelihood of stroke.
The there are the wealthier countries, where heart disease is the number one cause of early death. Strangely, it’s actually the sign of the privilege of old age since heart disease is generally considered an age related disease. In poor countries, the biggest threat is diseases that kill people early on in life. But in rich countries, death typically comes after a much longer life, even if it is earlier than life expectancy. So the good news is that overall, ‘years of life lost’ are decreasing in almost every category worldwide. People are living longer overall. So even though all this talk about death seems kind of depressing, it’s actually really good news.
Benazir Elahee Munni