The world population has gained more than a decade of life expectancy since 1980, rising to 69.0 years in men and 74.8 years in women in 2015. An important contributor to this has been large falls in death rates for many communicable diseases particularly in the last 10 years, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, and diarrhoea. The rate of people dying from cardiovascular disease and cancers has also fallen, although at a slower pace.
The number of annual deaths has increased from roughly 48 million in 1990 to almost 56 million in 2015. 70% (40 million) of global deaths in 2015 were due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs including ischaemic heart disease, stroke, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and drug use disorders) (table 5). In 2015, an estimated 1.2 million deaths were due to HIV/AIDS (down 33.5% since 2005), and 730500 were due to malaria (down 37% since 2005).