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Deaths from heart disease have fallen steadily since 2002, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
James Eynstone-Hinkins, Director of the Health and Vitals Statistics Unit, said there were 21,513 deaths from heart disease in 2011. Heart disease accounted for 15 per cent of all deaths in 2011 compared to 19 per cent of all deaths in 2002.
“Heart disease has remained the leading cause of death in Australia over the last ten years and continued to be the leading cause in 2011.
“There were 9,864 deaths caused by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in 2011, comprising seven per cent of all deaths. Most of these deaths occurred in people aged 75 or over.
“Lung cancer made up six per cent of all deaths and 19 per cent of all deaths from cancer - making it the fourth leading cause of death for Australians in 2011,” Mr Eynstone-Hinkins said.
“Prostate cancer was the fifth most common cause of death for men. Among women, breast cancer is the sixth most common cause of death.
“There were 1,530 deaths from falls among people aged 75 or over last year. This is a fourfold increase from the 2002 figure of 365. Women accounted for 57 per cent of these deaths.
“Suicide was the 15th most common cause of death in 2011 and the 10th leading cause for males. Males account for approximately three quarters of suicide deaths and it remains the leading cause of death for males aged 15-44.
“Overall, the death rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders was almost double that of non-Indigenous Australians. Deaths from diabetes were more common among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, ranking as the second most common cause of death,” Mr Eynstone-Hinkins said.
Further details can be found in Causes of Death, Australia (cat. no. 3303.0), available for free download from the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au).
· Care should be taken when reporting suicide deaths in the media. Please refer to the Mindframe website for further guidance.
· Care should be taken when interpreting figures relating to suicide and when comparing 2011 suicide data with previous years. See Explanatory notes 29-33, 56-67 and 92-95 for further information.
· 'Dementia and Alzheimer's disease' includes ICD-10 codes F01, F03, G30.
· ‘Lung cancer’ refers to Trachea, bronchus and lung cancers and includes ICD-10 codes C33-C34.
· Leading causes of death data is compiled as per World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations. See Explanatory notes 41-43 for further information.
· 'Heart disease' refers to ischaemic heart diseases, including angina, blocked arteries of the heart, and heart attack (I20-I25).
· ‘Falls’ refers to accidental falls and includes ICD-10 codes W00-W19.
· ‘Suicide' includes ICD-10 codes X60-X84, but excludes the Sequelae of Suicide (Y87.0) in line with WHO recommendations.
· When reporting ABS statistics, please attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) as the source.
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