TEHRAN – An official at the Iranian Health Ministry says the number of people killed in road accidents across the country annually equals the number of people who perished in the devastating earthquake that hit the city of Bam in southeastern Iran in December 2003.
The Bam earthquake killed about 23,000 people.
“Every year road accidents take the lives of as many people as the Bam earthquake,” said Ardeshir Khosravi, the director of the Information and Statistics Group of the Health Ministry.
Khosravi told IRNA on Sunday that most of the people killed in road accidents in Iran are young males who are at an economically productive age.
Though the number of people killed in traffic accidents has been reduced, the fatalities are still high, he lamented.
And if the death toll in traffic accidents continues at this rate, life expectancy will decline in Iran, he added.
Today, life expectancy is 75 for Iranian women and 73 for Iranian men, but if measures are not adopted to reduce traffic fatalities, life expectancy, especially for men, will decrease, he noted.
He went on to say that according to studies conducted by the Health Ministry, every year about 90,000 people die of heart attacks and another 43,000 die of strokes.
Khosravi also said that heart attacks, strokes, diseases related to blood pressure, traffic accidents, and heart disease are the leading causes of death for Iranian women, while heart attacks, road accidents, strokes, diseases related to blood pressure, and gastric cancer are the leading causes of death for Iranian men.
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