Non-infectious chronic diseases have become the major threat to human health in China as deaths from such diseases account for 85 percent of annual total deaths in the country, a report warned. The report said a 2008 national survey on mortality cause in China showed that the figure was up from 53 percent in 1973. Such diseases result in 3.7 million deaths annually. The Disease Prevention and Control Bureau under the Ministry of Health, and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducted the study, which was released at a national forum on prevention and control of chronic diseases in Chongqing. The mortality-cause survey shows that four non-infectious chronic diseases — Cerebrovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and heart disease — are the four principal causes that led to the largest number of deaths in China. Chronic diseases are the leading cause of mortality in the world, accounting for 60 percent of all deaths, reports the World Health Organization. According to the report, changes in lifestyle are one of the reasons that chronic diseases are increasing. Food with high contents of fat, protein and salt can lead to high blood pressure, high blood-fat and high blood sugar. Meanwhile, more people ride in vehicles instead of walking, meaning they exercise less.