A quarter of people over 24 years in the world have high blood pressure, and nearly one in 10 shows worrying levels of blood glucose.
The latest statistics from the World Health Organization include first blood pressure levels and glucose, two risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The authorities responsible for compiling the statistics of 194 nations for the health agency of the UN say that rich nations have exported some of its risk factors in the developing world.
Dr. Ties Boerma, director of health statistics from WHO, said snuff consumption, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity “are no longer limited disease to wealthy countries.”
But the spread of smoking and the inclination to processed foods and salt also affects populations with higher longevity.
“Globalization, urbanization and aging populations are spread throughout the world, so that four out of five deaths from the so-called diseases of affluence occur in low and middle income,” said Boerma. “It is also a victim of own success.”
Colin Mathers, who coordinates the WHO statistics on mortality and disease, says obesity “increases everywhere,” even as many children lack sufficient food. WHO says in its latest report that child malnutrition remains the underlying cause of 35% of all deaths among children under 5 years.
But there is good news, and Boerma said Mathers.
Boerma cited “significant progress” in the fight against infectious diseases and malnutrition, as the proportion of children in developing countries that have a low weight dropped from 29% in 1990 to 18% in 2010.
The number of women dying during childbirth declined by 47% during the same period, from 543 thousand in 1990 to 287,000 in 2010. That means an average of 3.1% less each year.
The mortality rate among children dropped 35% between 1990 and 2010, says WHO. However, almost 20% of deaths of children under five years (mostly from pneumonia and diarrhea) can be prevented with vaccines.