ISSN: 2640-7868
Archives of Preventive Medicine
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Hidden Neurological Deaths Epidemic’ 21st Century: Where is Preventative Medicine?

Colin Pritchard1* Anne Silk1 and Lars Hansen2

1Faculty of Health & Social Sciences, Bournemouth University UK
2School of Medicine, University of Southampton UK
*Corresponding author: Colin Pritchard, Professor, Faculty of Health & Social Sciences, Bournemouth University UK, E-mail:
Received: 15 September, 2022 | Accepted: 24 Septemeber, 2022 | Published: 26 September, 2022

Cite this as

Pritchard C, Silk A, Hansen L (2022) Hidden Neurological Deaths Epidemic’ 21st Century: Where is Preventative Medicine?. Arch Prev Med 7(1): 006-007. DOI: 10.17352/apm.000030


© 2022 Pritchard C, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

This brief review of a `hidden epidemic’ of neurological deaths in the Major Western Countries (MWC), based on statistically controlled in well-established studies [1,2] indicates that there is no recognized Preventative Medicine’ approach. The first international comparative study, in 1979 up to the 21st Century, shows neurological deaths are accelerating this Century. Some argued the increases were primarily due to demography, especially amongst the Over 75’s. We show, based upon WHO data on the twenty-one liberal-democratic comparable MWC, that neurological conditions are starting earlier, seen in people aged 55-74, which is well below the average life expectancy of MWC, hence described as `Early Adult Deaths’ (E.A.D). In addition, total WHO neurological deaths, controlled for age, sex and population Age-Standardised-Death-Rates (ASDR), are examined to indicate whether or not there are true increases during the 21st Century, based upon controlled E.A.D and total ASDR, over the period of [1,2].

Combined Neurological Mortality (CNM) deaths are taken from two WHO global neurological mortality categories, Nervous Disease Deaths (NDD) and Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias (AlzD). As these WHO categories include all the diagnostic conditions, this means we do not be concerned about separate diagnoses, rather than global changes, which are appropriate for epidemiological international comparisons.

Table 1 lists E.A.D, of the three highest and lowest MWC, to find that NDD was higher than AlzD, as NDD rises are not linked to Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias.

Finland had the highest neurological rates at 1006 per million (pm), followed by the USA at 710pm and the UK at 653pm, a real increase in rates by 32% during the Century. Whilst the lowest countries, Austria, Greece and Japan had risen 77%, 13%, and 36% respectively. Only Belgium, Canada and France had shown any fall in E.A.D.

Total Combined Neurological Mortality (CNM) at ASDR rose in every twenty-one MWC, an average increase of 49%, biggest increases were in UK 95% and other marked rises were Finland 82%, Japan 80% and USA 68% [Table 2].

However, statistical rates obscure the practice reality, so we report on actual numbers of deaths, which gives a more realistic perspective on families and front-line services. During the Century the British E.A.D numbers rose from 4,650 to 9,019 and total neurological deaths went from 24,601 to 103,550, a remarkable rise of 321%. American’s E.A.D numbers went from 21,818 to 48,047, more than doubling, and total neurological deaths from 174,708 to 436,438, up 149%. Even in France, whose E.A.D rates had fallen, their total deaths increased from 40,594 to 71,543, a rise of 76%.

These numbers are a clear indication of the burden and stress upon families and their services during the Century.

What might his account for these rises, other than demography? There is growing evidence of a range of multiple-interactive-environmental pollutions, related to neurodegenerative diseases ranging from solvent, engineering, chemical occupations, heavy metals in food and water, pesticides, plastics, endocrine disruptive chemicals, Petro-chemicals from the road and air transport, including air-pollution and organophosphates, etc. In addition, the very low frequency but prolonged ubiquity exposure of electro-magnetic-field (EMF), which is feared might be a tripping point for the other environmental factors [3,4].

This challenges the complacency of the vested interests, not least from the EMF, as the European Union report commented, that the industrialist was not focusing upon possible negative impact on human health, “but there are beginning to emerge” [5], whilst the US Federal Communication Commission has been successfully prosecuted by the Environment Health Trust, that they were failing in giving recognition to recent research [6], quoted in another recent authoritative study “compelling evidence of new electric mechanisms in human brains may interfere with the evolution of neurodegenerative disease” [4].

Finally, linking statistics and practice, when we considered the increase of thousands of neurological early-onset conditions during this Century, it is time for a new `preventative medicine’ approach.

  1. Pritchard C, Baldwin D & Mayers A. Changing patterns of adult [45-74 years] neurological deaths in the major Western world countries 1979-97 Public Health. 2004; 116:1-16.
  2. Pritchard C, Hansen L, Silk A, Rosenorn-Lanng E. 21st Century Early Adult (55-74) Deaths from Brain-Disease-Deaths Compared to All Other Cause Mortality in the Major Western Countries - Exposing a Hidden Epidemic. Neurol Res. 2021 Nov;43(11):900-908. doi: 10.1080/01616412.2021.1943121. Epub 2021 Jul 13. PMID: 34253141.
  3. Pritchard C, Silk A, Hansen L. Are rises in Electro-Magnetic Field in the human environment, interacting with multiple environmental pollutions, the tripping point for increases in neurological deaths in the Western World? Med Hypotheses. 2019 Jun;127:76-83. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2019.03.018. Epub 2019 Mar 26. PMID: 31088653.
  4. Kletetschka G, Bazala R, Takáč M, Svecova E. Magnetic domains oscillation in the brain with neurodegenerative disease Gunther Science Reports Nature Research. 2021; 11:714 |
  5. Belyaev I, Dean A, Eger H, Hubmann G, Jandrisovits R, Kern M, Kundi M, Moshammer H, Lercher P, Müller K, Oberfeld G, Ohnsorge P, Pelzmann P, Scheingraber C, Thill R. EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016 for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses. Rev Environ Health. 2016 Sep 1;31(3):363-97. doi: 10.1515/reveh-2016-0011. PMID: 27454111.
  6. Environmental Health Trust. EHT Takes the FCC to Court - Environmental Health Trust. 2021.

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