Cancer remains the No. 1 cause of death in Taiwan, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said yesterday as it published its routine health statistics from the past year.
The 10 leading causes of death in the nation last year were cancer, cardiovascular diseases, pneumonia, cerebrovascular diseases, diabetes, accidents, chronic lower respiratory tract diseases, hypertension, renal diseases and chronic liver diseases, the ministry said, adding that they accounted for 133,489 deaths, or 77.2 percent of all fatalities.
The number of deaths caused by pneumonia and cardiovascular disease rose last year, while there were fewer due to chronic liver disease and diabetes, it said.
Photo: Lin Hui-chin, Taipei Times
Cancers caused 48,785 deaths, or 28.3 percent of overall fatalities in the nation, with a rate of 206.9 deaths per 100,000 people, up by about 1.5 percentage points annually, the ministry said.
The deadliest cancers were tracheal, bronchial and lung; bile duct and liver; colon and anal; female breast; mouth; prostate; stomach; pancreatic; esophageal; and cervical and womb, it said.
Continuing a multiyear trend, lung cancer deaths last year outnumbered those of liver cancer, the ministry said, adding that mouth, prostate, pancreatic and esophageal cancer deaths rose, while stomach and cervical and womb cancer deaths decreased.
All types of vascular disease caused a combined 48,454 deaths, it said.
Last year, 172,859 people died in Taiwan, an increase of 0.5 percentage points from the previous year, the ministry said, adding that the death rate rose by one second to one death every 182 seconds.
The statistical changes were caused by an aging population, as deaths of people older than 65 increased in absolute and relative terms, it said.
People older than 55 accounted for 85 percent of deaths, while people aged 55 to 74 were the most likely to die of cancer, it added.
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