Diabetes is characterised by higher than normal levels of glucose in the blood.
Diabetes is a leading cause of death as well as of heart attacks, strokes, amputations, kidney failure, depression and severe infections – all of which themselves contribute to premature death.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is responsible for the majority of deaths from chronic lower respiratory diseases.
The lung is like an upside-down tree where the wind pipe is the trunk and the bronchi are the branches. Chronic lower respiratory diseases affect these branches.
Dementia can affect the ability to perform tasks such as dressing, showering and eating.
Dementia is the third leading cause of death in Australia. As the population ages, the number of people with dementia is expected to rise, as is the number of deaths from dementia.
Age-standardised cancer death rates have been falling in Australia.
Currently, seven cancer types are listed in the top 20 causes of death in Australia. These are cancers of the lung, blood and lymph, bowel, prostate, breast, pancreas, skin and some childhood cancers.
Coronary heart disease is almost always a consequence of atherosclerosis; a build-up of cholesterol and other material in the walls of our arteries.
Heart Attack Heaven/Flickr
Global deaths from heart disease rose from 12.3 million in 1990 to 17.3 million in 2013. Most of the increase occurred in developing countries and in disadvantaged people in developed countries.