How Much of Worldwide Disease Is Preventable?

About one-fourth of all instances of disease are preventable and caused by environmental factors that could be changed, health experts say. Children are even more affected by diseases caused by environmental factors, with about one-third of all instances of disease being preventable in children younger than 5 years old. It is estimated that about 13 million lives could be saved every year if precautions were taken to better manage environments. The main preventable worldwide diseases are diarrhea, malaria, lower respiratory infections and accidental injuries. These could be reduced by improved hygiene with water storage and handling of toxic substances, cleaner fuel usage and improved building safety.

More about preventable diseases:

  • The leading factors of diseases in the US are poor diet, lack of exercise, tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption.

  • More than 90% of diarrhea-related conditions could be prevented by improving unsafe water supplies.

  • Nearly 3 million deaths each year are from cardiovascular diseases, which can be prevented in certain cases. This is nearly twice the amount of deaths from cancer.

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