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Filling out the top 12 causes of death are respiratory infections including pneumonia in fourth place, 7.2 percent; respiratory diseases, including asthma and allergies, 6.9 percent; accidental injuries and drownings, 6.6 percent; newborn health problems, 5.4 percent; digestive diseases, 3.5 percent; suicide, murder and conflict, 2.8 percent; neuropsychiatric disorders, 2.1 percent; diabetes, 1.9 percent; and maternal health problems related to pregnancy or birth 0.9 percent.
Dr. Ties Boerma, who heads the agency's statistics department, said there is always a time delay in assembling such data from a number of countries.
"Countries have a backlog of two, three years in publicizing their own information," he said.
In countries where no death registration data are available, the figures are taken from research studies, which take a few years to get published, Boerma said.
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