Globally, noncommunicable diseases were responsible for 70% of deaths in 2015, up from 60% in 2000. Ischaemic heart disease was the leading cause of death accounting for 8.8 million deaths in 2015, followed by stroke (6.2 million deaths) and lower respiratory infections (3.2 million deaths).
Communicable (infectious) diseases, on the other hand, were the cause of 12 million deaths worldwide in 2015 (in total), especially in low-income countries. These diseases include lower respiratory tract infections, diarrheal diseases, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
In South Africa, the number of deaths recorded in 2015 totalled 460,236 (compared to over one million births), indicating a 3% decline in deaths processed between 2015 and 2014. The majority of deaths were due to noncommunicable diseases (55.5% in 2015), an increase from 42.9% in 2005.
Interestingly, when compared to the global situation, the leading cause of natural deaths in South Africa in 2015 was t