NEWS

Study notes dozens of diseases which, if properly treated, can lower mortality rates

The definition of avoidable mortality – or the difference between the actual mortality rate in a country and expected mortality in a well-run, stable country with the same demographics – emerged in international medical bibliographies in the 1970s. As an idea, it has drawn a great deal of interest, since avoidable mortality measures the rate of deaths which can be avoided with preventative medicine and treatment. International organizations have accepted the rate of avoidable mortality not only as an indicator of a population’s level of health but also as a credible indicator of how well developed a country’s health services are. Avoidable mortality comprises 36 categories of which three – lung, throat and bronchial cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, and traffic accidents – may be avoided with a healthy and sound lifestyle. Another category – ischemic heart disease – is both preventable and treatable, while another 32 are also treatable. What are these diseases and at what ages do they set in, according to the research? These diseases include several categories of illnesses, including infectious diseases (until age 14), tuberculosis, microbic illnesses (until age 74), whooping cough, measles, and respiratory illnesses except for pneumonia and the flu (until age 14). Also considered treatable until age 74 are illnesses such as septic poisoning, malignant growths in the colon and on the skin (except for advanced malignant melanoma). Breast and cervical cancer, if caught early, can also be treated, as can the form of lymphoma (or lymphatic cancer) known as Hodgkin’s disease.