Cancer tops list of causes of death in Israel

The prevalence of cancers and heart disease is lower relative to most other countries in the OECD, according to the CBS.

November 20, 2013 17:48
1 minute read.
A CORONARY artery narrowed by blockage

Coronary Artery 311. (photo credit: Creative Commons)


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The leading cause of death in Israel in 2011 was cancer, as the rate of heart disease has dropped by 80% since the 70s.

The prevalence of cancers and heart disease is nevertheless lower relatively to most other countries in the OECD, according the Central Bureau of Statistics, which released its data for 2011 on Wednesday.

This significant improvement in cardiovascular disease results from prevention: less smoking, improved medications, improved treatment techniques, better surgical skills and better medical skills.

The mortality rates of breast cancer, kidney disease and diabetes are, however, higher in Israel than in most OECD countries.

A total of 40,668 Israelis died in 2011, 49.3% males and the rest females. Of these, 79% were over the age of 65 when death occurred. From those 79%, 65% were over the age of 75 and 35% over the age of 85.

Of all 2011 deaths, 6% were below age 45 and 1.4% were babies before their first birthday.

Three-quarters of those who passed away died as a result of one of 10 most common causes of death, and of these 40% died from cancers and cardiovascular diseases.

The other leading causes were stroke, respiratory disease, complications of diabetes, infections, external trauma (such as road accidents and suicides), pneumonia and hypertension.

A total of 23.7% resulted from other medical causes.

Lung cancer was the most common malignant tumor causing death in men while breast cancer was the main cause of death among women.

Cancers cause almost 26% of deaths among Jews and less than 20% among Arab Israelis – partly because the Arab sector is younger than the Jewish sector.

External trauma and diabetes complications were higher among Arabs than Jews.

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