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Adapted from World Health Organization; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Almost 75% of the world's deaths last year were from non-communicable diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer, according to the World Health Organization.

Why it matters: Worldwide life expectancy is now up to an average of 73 years — six years longer than it was in 2000. But chronic, and in some cases preventable, disease is also taking a bigger toll than it was 20 years ago.

By the numbers: Seven of the the globe's 10 leading causes of death in 2019 were from noncommunicable diseases — up from four in 2000.

  • Heart disease, which has been the world's leading cause of death for the last 20 years, is killing more people than ever before, representing 16% of the world's total deaths last year.
  • Deaths from diabetes increased by 70% globally since 2000, with an 80% rise in deaths among men.
  • Lower respiratory infections are still the world’s most deadly communicable disease, but the number of deaths has gone down by almost half a million lives since 2000.

Yes, but: Many communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and lower respiratory infections, remain leading causes of death in low- and lower-middle income countries.

What to watch: COVID-19 will likely make 2020's top 10, WHO officials said, as the global death toll reached the 1.5 million mark on Dec. 3.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 28, 2021 - Health

New York AG: State severely undercounted COVID nursing home deaths

Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Data from New York's public health department undercounted COVID-19-related deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%, according to a report released Thursday by state Attorney General Letitia James.

The big picture: Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration had not been including nursing home patients who died after being transferred to the hospital in its tally of over 8,500 nursing home deaths. Data provided to the attorney general's office from 62 nursing homes "shows a significantly higher number of resident COVID-19 deaths can be identified than is reflected" in the official count.

European Super League faces collapse after English soccer teams quit

Fans of Chelsea Football Club protest the European Super League outside Stamford Bridge soccer stadium in London, England. Photo: Rob Pinney/Getty Images

The European Super League announced in a statement Tuesday night it's "proposing a new competition" and considering the next steps after all six English soccer clubs pulled out of the breakaway tournament.

Why it matters: The announcement that 12 of the richest clubs in England, Spain and Italy would start a new league was met with backlash from fans, soccer stars and politicians. The British government had threatened to pass legislation to stop it from going ahead.

Corporate America finds downside to politics

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Corporate America is finding it can get messy when it steps into politics.

Why it matters: Urged on by shareholders, employees and its own company creeds, Big Business is taking increasing stands on controversial political issues during recent months — and now it's beginning to see the fallout.