Cancer top cause of death in Israel, CBS report shows

Rates of fatal heart disease and suicide lower than in OECD countries,but diabetes death rate higher.

August 18, 2010 05:24
1 minute read.
cancer patient 248.88

cancer patient 248.88. (photo credit: )


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Cancers continue to be the most common cause of death in Israel, with 10,124 fatal cases in 2008 – 25.8 percent of that year’s deaths – compared to 6,782 deaths from heart disease (17.3%), according to a report released Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

In that year, 39,241 Israelis died, 50.3% of them female.

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Almost eight in 10 of all those who died were age 65 or over, while 63% were over the age of 76 and 32% were over 85. Only 7% were under 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. Death rates from heart disease and suicide in Israel were lower than the average for other OECD countries, but the rate of deaths from complications of diabetes was much higher than in all the other OECD countries except Mexico.

Complications of diabetes were responsible for 6.3% of all 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.

The most common type of cancer among men was of the lungs and trachea (21.5% of all cancers, mostly due to smoking), and among women it was breast cancer (19.3%). Colorectal cancer was the second most common cancer among both sexes.

Jews were significantly more likely than Arabs to die from cancer and heart disease.


Arabs were more likely to die from external factors and complications of diabetes.

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