The Most Common Causes of Death in Developing Countries

Knowing the causes of death in developing countries is extremely important at assessing the effectiveness of a country’s health care system.

The statistics help authorities determine whether they are focusing on the right health programs.

For example, if a country notices an increase in deaths caused by diabetes, then the authorities may want to consider programs which promote a healthy lifestyle in order to prevent this disease.

Furthermore, if a lot of children are dying from malaria, changes can be made to the health budget, so more money will be allocated towards malaria vaccines and treatments.

The World Health Organization has released the statistics with the top causes of death in developing countries, so we will talk about their findings in today’s post.

Common Causes of Death in Developing Countries

1. Lower Respiratory Infections

Pneumonia and bronchiolitis are the top lower respiratory infections which occur in these countries. Children under the age of five are predisposed to these infections, mainly because they are living in poor conditions which are not optimal for their health.

2. Diarrheal Diseases

These diseases kill over half a million children under the age of five every year. Drinking clean water and practicing good sanitation habits can successfully prevent diarrheal diseases.

Due to the lack of education when it comes to health care practices and not having access to clean water, prevention is an issue in developing countries.

3. Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) 

Millions of people die of CHD every year as it continues to be one of the leading causes of death in low-income countries.

This disease occurs when the coronary arteries are narrowed due to fatty material, which will lead to a poor supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart.

The coronary heart disease occurs because of poor dieting habits, physical inactivity and excessive drinking or smoking.


Nearly 1 in 25 adults are living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa, which remains the most affected area in the world.

Even though hundreds of thousands of people are dying from HIV every year, there are ongoing programs which focus on education and prevention in these regions.

The numbers have shown that the situation has changed for the better and that today, more people in low-income countries have access to HIV treatment.

5. Stroke 

Two-thirds of worldwide strokes occur in developing countries, which means that it affects somewhere around 20 million people each year.

Similar to CHD, it can be prevented by eliminating smoking, improving dietary habits and increasing physical activity.

6. Malaria

90% of malaria cases occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. Kids, pregnant women and their unborn children are the ones which are more at risk at contracting it or dying from it.

Even those that survive the disease will develop serious physical and mental impairment.

In this case, prevention is an important part of reducing the number of people who suffer from malaria because treatment can be quite expensive for the African economy.


By improving healthcare services and prevention programs, these common causes of death in developing countries can be reduced in the next few years.

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