This episode is sponsored by Bill and Melinda Gates. I have some bad news for you. We’re all going to die. In fact, 1.8 people die every second. The main way of knowing how you’re gonna die is based on your age. So here are the statistics of how you’re likely going to die. Let’s move in reverse and begin with those who are 70+ years old. This is the age bracket accounting for nearly half of all deaths worldwide and the leading cause of death in this age group is overwhelmingly heart disease. If you’re between the ages of 45 to 64 in the US, cancer is the leading cause of death. In 2016, globally, 8.9 million deaths were attributed to cancers which is 5.7 million more than in 1990. Wait, why has cancer increased so much? It’s because as our population grows and lifespans increase, so do the cancer rates. If you die between the age of 25 and 44, the most common cause of death in America is from unintentional poisoning. This may sound strange, but it’s because unintentional poisoning as a term includes deaths related to overdosing on drugs. Dying due to drug use in the US has tripled since 1999 to 2016, largely due to the opioid crisis. The data now coming in from 2017 indicates that it is the worst year in US history for overdose fatalities. In fact, in 2017, the death toll from drugs is higher than US military casualties in the Vietnam and Iraq war combined. But this is not the case around the world. In South Africa, the number one killer for this age group is HIV/AIDS and in Brazil, it’s homicide. Between 15 to 24 years old in the US, the leading cause of death is motor vehicle accident. Crash risk is particularly high within the first few months of obtaining a license. Also, 53% of these fatalities occur on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, with male driver death rates being twice as high as their female counterparts. Teens also have the lowest incidence of wearing a seatbelt, are more likely to speed, and leave a smaller space between drivers. For ages 5 to 14, the leading cause of death is malaria. Malaria is the result of single-celled parasitic microorganisms called plasmodia that are transmitted via mosquitoes. The complexity of the malaria parasite makes developing a vaccine very difficult, but a recent trial is showing promising results. 5.4 million children under the age of 5 died in 2017. The leading cause of death was a variety of neonatal disorders. Though tragic, the death rate among children has dropped dramatically. In 1990, 1 in 11 children under five passed away but in 2017, the number was 1 in 26. So how you will die greatly depends on when you will die. If you make it to old age, heart disease will likely do you in. That being said, 100 years ago influenza was the leading cause of death. So who knows how we will die in the future? But we can do better, and science can help. By reviewing over 40,000 DNA samples voluntarily submitted, geneticists have discovered a link between premature births and the genes that process the mineral selenium. The study found that expectant mothers who carry the gene were more likely to give birth early. 15 million babies are born premature every year and understanding what causes prematurity is hugely important as these babies in the low-income countries are at much higher risk of death. This issue and potential solution is one of the fascinating and surprising issues you can read about in Bill and Melinda Gates’ Annual Letter at GatesLetter.com. This year, they’re sharing the surprises they’ve encountered in their work, including the fact that toilets haven’t changed in a century and that textbooks are becoming obsolete, and the surprising reasons these two pieces of information are actually really important. You’re gonna want to learn about how these surprising moments are prodding them to help make the world a better place, so go check out GatesLetter.com and subscribe for more weekly science videos every Thursday.