Global and Regional Causes of Death: Patterns and Trends, 2000 - 15

Authors: Colin Mathers, Gretchen Stevens, Dan Hogan, Wahyu Retno Mahanani, Jessica Ho


This chapter summarizes global and regional patterns of causes of death for 2015 and trends for 2000–15 using the 2015 Global Health Estimates (GHE 2015) released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in early 2017 (WHO 2017a). The GHE 2015 present results for 183 WHO member states with a population of 90,000 or greater in 2015. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) expand the focus of health targets from the unfinished Millennium Development Goals (MDG) agenda for child and maternal mortality and priority infectious diseases to a broader agenda including noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), injuries, health emergencies, and health risk factors as well as a strong focus on universal health care. On the whole, progress toward the MDGs has proven remarkable, including poverty reduction, improved education, and increased access to improved drinking water. Global progress on the three health goals and targets has also proven considerable, with the HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria epidemics “turning around,” and child mortality and maternal mortality decreasing greatly (53 percent and 44 percent, respectively, since 1990), despite falling short of the MDG targets.