Cardiovascular diseases and cancer main causes of death

A total of 41,700 persons died in 2008, 21,400 of which were women. Two out of three deaths were caused by cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Over the last 20 years, deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases have had a significant reduction. In 2008, one out of ten deaths were caused by lung diseases.

Deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases have had a significant reduction over the last 20 years. The reduction among men is exceptional; 430 men per 100,000 inhabitants died in 1980. The number for women was 240 deaths. The numbers in 2008 were 209 and 134 respectively. The effect of variations in the age structure of the population over time has been accounted for in these figures, as well as age variations among men and woman. Deaths due to cancer have remained stable during this period.

There are large differences in causes of deaths at different age levels. Deaths from accidents are more common among the youngest than among the elderly.

Reduction in deaths among the youngest

A total of 148 deaths were registered in the age group 1-17, 88 of these were boys and 60 were girls. Accidents were the cause of deaths for about a third of these incidents. Cancer was due to about 20 percent of the causes, whereas congenital diseases came to about 10 percent. Total deaths in this age group have fallen over the last ten years. In 1999, 21 children and youths per 100,000 inhabitants died. In 2008, the number was 14 children. The decrease has been greater for deaths by accidents than for diseases. The number of deaths caused by transport accidents has almost dimidiated in the last decade.

In 2008, a total of 163 children died during their first year, 102 of whom were boys. More than half of these deaths are caused by diseases or conditions arising in the perinatal period, and about 30 percent are caused by congenital diseases. Twelve children died from sudden infant death syndrome.

Most men die from accidents

Violent deaths are the cause of nearly half of the deaths in the age-group 18 to 48. More than three times as many men than women die from violent deaths. When it comes to diseases, cancer is the main cause of death.

Cancer is the main cause of death among middle-aged

In the last 20 years, the decrease in total mortality in the age group 45-74 has been about 25 percent for women and 40 percent for men. This propitious development is mainly due to the fact that cardiovascular diseases have declined by 65 per cent for both sexes. Cancer is the main cause of death in this age group, but since 1997 the death rates for cancer have declined by 15 percent for women and 20 percent for men. This positive development continues in 2008 both for cardiovascular diseases and cancer. For comparison, the death rates for chronic obstructive lung diseases, accidents and suicides are relatively stable in this age group. Age standardizing death rates remove the effect of variations in the age structure of the population over time.

Four out of ten die from cardiovascular diseases after the age of 75

In the last decade there has been a decline in cardiovascular diseases, while deaths caused by chronic diseases in lower respiratory tract (COLD) and cancer have increased in the age group over 75.

In spite of the decrease in cardiovascular diseases, this group of diseases is the main cause of death in this age group; 40 percent die of cardiovascular diseases and 20 per cent die of cancer. Violent deaths amount to 3 percent of deaths in the elderly population, and accidental falls and unspecified fractures are absolutely the main causes of deaths.

Source: Statistics Norway

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