Less heart disease, more dementia

The proportion of Australian deaths by heart disease has decreased over the last ten years, according to figures released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

In 1999, 22 per cent of all deaths in Australia were due to heart disease, compared to 16 per cent of all deaths in 2008.

Despite this decline, heart disease remained the biggest killer in Australia. Over the same period, deaths due to dementia and Alzheimer's disease more than doubled.

The continued increase in deaths from dementia and Alzheimer's disease has seen this cause of death overtake trachea and lung cancers as the third leading cause of death in Australia.

Trachea and lung cancers were responsible for most deaths caused by cancer, and was the fourth leading cause of death overall.

Similar to the whole population, heart disease was the leading cause of death in the Indigenous population, accounting for 13 per cent of all Indigenous deaths.

To see the full report of Causes of Death, Australia, 2008, visit [Link to http://www.abs.gov.au ]

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