Cancer remained the No. 1 killer in Taiwan last year, the Department of Health (DOH) said, with one person dying from the disease every 13 minutes and 30 seconds last year — 25 seconds faster than the previous year.
The DOH yesterday released its figures on the leading causes of death in the country, with cancer topping the list for the 27th consecutive year.
The DOH's Department of Statistics said that the number of deaths surpassed more than 140,000 for the first time last year, but the average life expectancy for men and women rose to 75.5 years for men and 82 years for women. In 2007, it was 75.47 years for males and 81.71 years for females.
Huang Hsu-ming (黃旭明), director of the statistics department, said that the major 10 causes of death last year were the same as in 2007. Malignant tumors were responsible for 27.3 percent of all deaths last year, followed by heart disease (11.1 percent), cerebrovascular disease (7.5 percent), pneumonia (6.1 percent), diabetes (5.6 percent), accidents (5.0 percent), lower chronic respiratory disease (3.8 percent), chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (3.5 percent), suicide (2.9 percent), and nephritis, nephritic syndrome and nephrosis (2.8 percent).
Deaths caused by chronic liver disease and accidents saw the largest declines, with both falling 6.4 percent, the statistics showed.
The rate of death caused by cancer declined 0.1 percent last year to 133.7 per 100,000 people, with 38,913 people dying from the disease.
There was no change in the order of top cancer killers. Lung cancer was responsible for most cancer deaths (20 percent), followed by liver cancer (19.7 percent) and colorectal cancer (11 percent).
Rounding out the top 10 were breast cancer, stomach cancer, oral cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, esophageal cancer and pancreatic cancer.
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