Where in Europe are you most likely to die before 70?

Where in Europe are you most likely to die before 70?
Copyright Reuters
Copyright Reuters
By Claire Heffron
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Lack of progress in reducing early deaths from chronic diseases could cause the majority of UN member states to miss the 2030 deadline, according to the Lancet.


Men in Russia and women in Moldova have the highest likelihood in Europe of dying from cancer, heart disease, lung disease or diabetes between the age of 30 and 70, according to a new report.

Scientists have analysed the number of deaths from the four noncommunicable diseases across 180 countries.

They calculated the probability of a 30-year-old man and woman dying before they turn 70 in each of the nations.

It found more than half of all countries will not meet global targets to cut deaths from cancer, heart disease and other chronic conditions.

The report, published in the Lancet is one of the most detailed global studies of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in history.

The study was carried out jointly by Imperial College, the World Health Organization and the NCD Alliance, a network of NGOs.

The research shows that death rates in one in 10 countries have either stood still or got worse.

The highest risks of dying from NCDs were observed in low- and middle-income countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, and, for men, in central Asia and eastern Europe.

In 2015, world leaders pledged to cut deaths from chronic disease among 30- to 70-year-olds by a third as part of the sustainable development goals.

However, the latest figures show that progress on tackling the issue has so far has been too slow to meet the 2030 aim for achieving the target.

In Europe, Iceland had the fewest deaths for men, while in the UK, women aged 30 had a 9% chance of dying from one of the four major NCDs — cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory diseases and diabetes — before their 70th birthday, while men had a 13% chance.

Overall, women in Spain and Switzerland were least likely to die prematurely as well as men in Iceland, Switzerland, Sweden and Norway.

In contrast, men in central Asia (Mongolia, Kazakhstan) and eastern Europe (Russia, Belarus) were among the most likely to die early, and women in sub-Saharan Africa, Guyana, Afghanistan, Yemen and Papua New Guinea.

The study, entitled "NCD countdown 2030" and published ahead of a high-level UN meeting on the subject in New York next week, found that although mortality due to chronic disease is going down, the rate of decline varies significantly, even among countries in the same region.

The authors, who believe this may be due to a lack of improvement in risk factors such as smoking, alcohol and obesity, have called on policymakers to act.

The measures they have suggested include the introduction of restrictions, taxation and advertising bans to reduce the use of alcohol and tobacco.

They also called for earlier diagnosis and treatment of chronic disease.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “Recent trends in life expectancy and mortality in the UK can also be seen in a number of countries across Europe, North America and Australia.


“We want to understand these changing trends, which is why we asked Public Health England to review this.

“As part of our long-term plan for the health service, we are taking strong action to help people live longer and healthier lives. Cancer survival is at a record high while smoking rates are at an all-time low.”

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