Cancers continue to be the most common cause of death in Israel, with 10,124 cases in 2008 (or 25.8%) compared to 6,782 from heart disease (17.3%), according to a report released Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
In that year, 39,241 Israelis died, with 50.3% of them females. Almost eight in 10 of those who died were aged 65 or over, while 63% were over the age of 76 and 32% over 85. Only 7% were under the age of 45, and 1.5% were infants under the age of one.
The death rates and causes in 2008 were not very different from those in 2007, but compared to 40 years ago, heart disease and stroke in adults and peri-natal conditions in infants were less likely to be fatal. Heart diseases and suicide caused death in Israel at lower rates than in the average of other OECD countries, but the rate of Israeli deaths from complications of diabetes was much higher in Israel than in all the other OECD countries, except for Mexico.
Complications of diabetes were responsible for 6.3% of the deaths, followed by respiratory diseases (5.6%), stroke and "external factors" such as accidents and suicides (5.2% each), infectious diseases (3.9%), kidney diseases (3.7%) and others.