Heart disease deaths drop

Deaths from heart disease have fallen steadily since 2002, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

ABS spokesman James Eynstone-Hinkins said whilst heart disease has remained the leading cause of death in Australia over the last 10 years and continued to be the leading cause in 2011, deaths from heart disease in 2011 accounted for 15 per cent of all deaths, down from 19 per cent in 2002.

But Eynstone-Hinkins said there had been a fourfold increase in deaths from falls, with 1,530 people aged 75 and over dying from fall-related injuries, compared with 365 deaths in 2002. Women accounted for 57 per cent of these deaths.

There were 9,864 deaths caused by dementia and Alzheimer's disease in 2011, comprising 7 per cent of all deaths, most of which occurred in people aged 75 or over.

Lung cancer made up 6 per cent of all deaths, making it the fourth leading cause of death for Australians in 2011, while prostate cancer was the fifth most common cause of death for men. Among women, breast cancer is the sixth most common cause of death.

Featured Article