Neither mosquitoes, accidents nor armed conflicts: the main cause of death is cardiovascular and this animation makes it clear

Only five people die on average each year as a result of a shark attack. Plane crashes, on the other hand, carry over 860. Only about 2,000 die from the impact of lightning and about 25,000 from causes directly attributable to dogs. A little more, 26,445, die of terrorism; about 100,000 from snakes and about 725,000 from mosquitoes.

As you can see, the process by which a cause of death becomes a social alarm is a complete mystery. A few days ago, Datagnan, a Reddit user, shared this comparison between various causes of death and the great cause of death in today's world: cardiovascular disease. And, seen in perspective, the truth is that if something is striking, it is the asymmetry that exists in the social consideration of each one of them.

What are we dying of?

Some causes of death compared to the leading cause of death worldwide. To put things in perspective.

- Miguel García (@Milhaud) December 14, 2019

It is important not to pay much attention to the specific figures. Keep in mind that the amounts have a lot of estimation and, in fact, while reviewing the numbers in the graph to confirm them, I have verified that there are substantial variations depending on how we count deaths and the years we take as a reference. However, the order of magnitudes does seem quite stable in recent years.

And that is the fundamental thing. It doesn't take many words to realize that most of humanity's # 1 enemies are things like car accidents (1,200,000), cancer (nearly 10 million people), or cardiovascular disease (about 17 million ). Furthermore, it is curious to see that if we add up all the causes that are in the graph, this last figure is not reached.

As I said a little above, one of the things that I find most interesting is the relative disconnect between these data and social perceptions. Few people would say that bees are more dangerous than sharks or that scorpions are worse than tigers, but mortality data suggests that, at least in aggregate terms, this is the case.

The visualization is also interesting to reflect on scientific efforts to improve cardiovascular disease prevention and treatments and their visibility (compared to many other diseases). Be that as it may, from time to time it is positive to see what we are dying to continue fighting to do as little as possible.

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