It’s not aliens. It’s not earthquakes. And it’s definitely not people falling off the edge of the world.
While it’s always been something of a given, in September it was reported life expectancy has stopped improving for the first time since figures began in 1982.
So even though we’re supposed to be the plucky younger generation with the world at our feet, I’m one of those aware of the days as they pass quicker and quicker.
BBC News reports the Office for National Statistics said the stalling of life expectancy was linked to particularly high numbers of deaths from 2015 to 2017, which coincided with a bad flu season and excess winter deaths.
Meanwhile academics have linked the trend to government austerity policies, such as cuts to social care budgets.
Around 56 million people in the world died in 2017, which is a 10 million more than 1990 – as the population increased and in general people live longer on average, according to the BBC.
The good news is the biggest killer isn’t a lurgy you can catch.
The bad news is you may want to put the phone down and get off the sofa – the biggest killer is cardiovascular disease.
The disease affects the heart and the arteries and is responsible for every third death.
Maybe a little less cheese on your pasta next time.
This is twice the rate of cancers – number two in the rogues’ gallery – which account for one in six of all deaths.
Other non-contagious diseases such as diabetes, certain respiratory diseases and dementia are near the top of the list.
Deaths from preventable causes are big killers too. About 1.6 million people died from diarrhoea in 2017, putting it in the top 10. It’s still one of the largest killers in some countries.
Road deaths take a high number of lives in developed and developing countries alike, claiming 1.7 million lives in 2017.
Meanwhile, sadly, the largest killer of men aged 20-40 in the UK is suicide.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123
Tim Horner is a sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated with a BA Journalism from University College Falmouth before most his colleagues were born. A previous editor of adult mags, he now enjoys bringing the tone down in the viral news sector.