Cancer, heart disease named leading causes of Israeli deaths

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics report, differences were identified between leading causes of death among Israel's Jewish and Arab populations.

A nurse prepares a drip bag at the Hospital Roland Mazoin in Saint-Junien, France (photo credit: REUTERS/REGIS DUVIGNAU)
A nurse prepares a drip bag at the Hospital Roland Mazoin in Saint-Junien, France
(photo credit: REUTERS/REGIS DUVIGNAU)
Cancer and cardiovascular disease continued to be the leading causes of death among both Israeli men and women in 2017, according to figures published by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.
Cancerous (malignant) tumors were responsible for 25.1% of deaths of men and 25.2% of women in 2017, the report stated. Cardiovascular disease caused 15.6% of male deaths and 13.9% of female deaths.
Among Israeli men, the most common forms of deadly cancer were lung and respiratory tract cancer (23.1%), followed by colorectal and rectal cancer (10.9%) and pancreatic cancer (8.6%). For women, breast cancer (21.8%) was the most deadly form of cancer, followed by lung and respiratory tract cancer (11%) and colorectal and rectal cancer (10.2%).
Other leading causes of death among Israeli citizens included infectious diseases (5.6%), diabetes (5.2%), strokes (4.7%) and external causes (4.1%), an umbrella term for non-illness related deaths including accidents, suicides and murder.
Mortality rates (per 100,000 citizens) from infectious diseases, the report stated, have risen sharply in the last decade, representing the third most common cause of death since 2015. Deaths caused by cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, however, have decreased by some 80% since the 1970s. Dementia-related mortality rates, the seventh leading cause of death in 2017, and Alzheimer’s Disease have risen during the past decade among both women and men.
According to the report, differences were identified between leading causes of death among Israel’s Jewish and Arab populations.
While cancer was responsible for 25.3% of deaths among Jewish citizens, it was the cause of 21.3% of deaths among Arab-Israelis. The fourth most common cause of death among the Arab population was external causes (7.2%), compared to 3.7% among Jews. Differences in mortality rates are partly explained, the CBS added, by differences in age composition between the two populations, with the Arab population younger overall.
When compared with OECD nations, mortality rates for leading causes of death in Israel (cancer, cardiovascular disease and cerebrovascular disease) are relatively low compared to most countries. In the case of cancer, only Mexico, Turkey and South Korea had lower mortality rates than Israel.
Mortality rates from infectious diseases, diabetes and kidney disease are very high in comparison to OECD countries. Israel has the highest mortality rate for infectious diseases across the OECD. Only Turkey, Chile and Mexico had higher rates of diabetes-related mortality.
The report also found that mortality rates for external causes among Israeli citizens are the lowest among all OECD countries, yet deaths caused by homicide were relatively high. Only seven countries had higher murder-related mortality rates among men, and 10 countries among women. Suicide rates among Israeli citizens were very low, with lower rates only found in Turkey and Greece.