Cancer has topped heart disease as the biggest killer in some of the world's richest countries, a new study found. Though heart disease remains the primary cause of death globally -- accounting for 40 percent of all deaths -- cancer has overtaken heart disease in middle- and high-income countries such as Sweden, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Poland, and Turkey, according to a study published Tuesday in The Lancet, a medical journal. Cancer in high-income countries kills twice as many people as heart disease, the study found. And if trends continue, researchers argue, cancer could become the leading cause of death worldwide in a matter of decades. For the study, researchers analyzed data on diseases and death among 162,534 adults aged 35 to 70 from 21 countries across five continents from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) from 2005 to 2016.
Throughout history the empowerment of women has been linked to their education, which brings benefits not only to the women's own lives but to the lives of their children too. In developing countries, research shows a strong link between the education of mothers and immunisation of children against preventable diseases such as polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles and tuberculosis. Estimates suggest that a quarter of deaths of children under the age of five could be prevented by vaccines available today. In Sub-Saharan Africa, deaths of under-fives remain high. A recent analysis of immunisation in Nigeria found that only 6% of children of illiterate mothers received all the vaccinations compared with 24% of children in the whole population.
Our study showed that for the first time in history, middle-income countries like China and Brazil surpassed high-income countries like the United States and my native Australia in terms of public-sector investment in food and agriculture R&D. If high-income countries want to continue to lead in nourishing the world, they will have to change their investment trajectory, which has been declining in real terms for more than a decade. The results of today's investment decisions will take a long time to play out, but they will be profound when they arrive.
Harnessing machine learning to improve health is a major ambition for both medical practitioners and the healthcare industry. If the two can join forces on a global scale in 2019, with the right investment and the right approach, AI could propel a revolution to democratise global health and to leapfrog access to health services in low- and middle-income countries. A chronic shortage of human resources is one of the major obstacles to better health and healthcare in many resource-poor settings. When it comes to global health, artificial intelligence offers huge opportunities to fill the gap left by critical healthcare worker shortages, particularly if combined with mobile phone technology. For example, social enterprises such as Peek Vision can use smart-phone based technology to enable healthcare providers to deliver cost-effective and targeted treatment to people with eyesight problems.