Iran facing prevalence of premature death, official warns

July 3, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran is facing the prevalence of premature death, deputy health minister Reza Malekzadeh has said.

Some 0.5 percent of premature deaths happen before the age of 70 and 2 percent before the age of 50, he lamented.

He made the remarks during a meeting held under the title of Prospective Epidemiological Research Studies in Iran (known by its abbreviation PERSIAN) Birth Cohort at the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences on Monday.

About 3800 premature deaths reported during the last year in Iran, which is caused by the noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), Mehr quoted Malekzadeh as saying.

“A total of 85,000 premature deaths for people under 50 years were registered in Iran over the past year, which is a catastrophe.”

“Although noncommunicable diseases is the main reason for death of people, about 70 percent of these diseases can be prevented,” he added.

He also pointed to infant mortality in Iran saying that it can be decreased by safe childbirth.

PERSIAN is a nationwide cohort study launched in the year 2014 in an attempt to encourage research in the fields of medicine, epidemiology, health, and nutrition.

PERSIAN has empowered medical schools around the country with the necessary resources to take part in the study, in order to identify the risk factors related to the most prevalent chronic diseases in Iran, with the ultimate goal to reform the health system and enhance the health of Iranians, while contributing to the world’s medical knowledge.

Premature death worldwide

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the evidence shows that 15 million of all deaths attributed to NCDs occur between the ages of 30 and 69 years. Of these "premature" deaths, over 85% are estimated to occur in low- and middle-income countries.

Children, adults and the elderly are all vulnerable to the risk factors contributing to NCDs, whether from unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and exposure to tobacco smoke or the harmful use of alcohol.

These diseases are driven by forces that include rapid unplanned urbanization, globalization of unhealthy lifestyles and population ageing. NCDs threaten progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a target of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030.

SB/MG

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