What is the biggest killer in the world? You might think it’s cardiovascular disease, or even cancer. After all, these are ways to die
The world’s biggest killer isn’t a virus or bacteria—it’s the simple act of getting behind the wheel of a car. Though car accidents aren’t typically discussed in terms of death toll, they’re the leading cause of mortality in the developed world. According to the World Health Organization, 1.25 million people die in car accidents every year—that’s 2,500 deaths every day! The number is even more staggering when you realize that it accounts for 13% of all deaths globally. That’s a lot of lives lost, and it’s all preventable.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that physical inactivity is the fourth-leading cause of death worldwide, after high blood pressure, smoking, and poor diet. The organization also found that more than 5 million deaths are attributable to a lack of physical activity (that’s more people than die from HIV/AIDS, violence, or tuberculosis). This is particularly concerning in the United States: we’re ranked as the third most obese nation in the world and have one of the highest rates of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and stroke.
There are many ways to die. Cancer, heart disease, car accidents, cancer again, and you know how it goes. Although cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States (heart disease is number one), tobacco can be considered the biggest killer in terms of sheer numbers.
A staggering 440,000 people die every year because of smoking-related causes. That’s more than all the deaths caused by AIDS, alcohol use, illegal drugs, murders and suicides put together. And this isn’t just a problem in the US; tobacco kills more than 5 million people worldwide every year.