Mortality rate highest in January

In the first eight months of this year 92 thousand people died, an average of 380 a day.

Average daily mortality, 1995–2004

Average daily mortality, 1995-2004

Higher mortality rate in winter

In the period 1995––2004 the average daily mortality rate differs considerably with each month. The rate is highest in January averaging 430 a day. The lowest rate (350) is in September. The daily number of deaths in January is 22 percent higher than in September.

Cardiovascular mortality (monthly average=100), 1995–2004

Cardiovascular mortality (monthly average = 100), 1995-2004

Cardiovascular diseases main cause of death

Monthly fluctuations in the number of deaths can largely be attributed to three causes of death.

Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death accounting for one third of total mortality. In January and December the number of persons dying from a heart condition is 13 percent above average, whereas in August it is 11 percent below average.

Death from lung diseases (monthly average=100), 1995–2004

Death from lung diseases (monthly average = 100), 1995-2004

High mortality rate pulmonary diseases in January

The number of persons dying from pulmonary diseases like pneumonia and CNSLD varies considerably per month. In January the number of persons dying from pulmonary diseases is twice as high as in September. If a flu epidemic sweeps the country, death from pulmonary diseases is extra high, as was the case in January 2000. In that month the number of deaths from pulmonary diseases was over 1 thousand above the average rate for January.

Death from mental disorders (monthly average=100), 1995–2004

Death from mental disorders (monthly average = 100), 1995-2004

Senile dementia as a cause of death

The effects of mental disorders are the third cause of death showing a distinct monthly pattern. Particularly the physical complications of senile dementia more often end in death in winter. In August, too, the number of deaths caused by the effects of senile dementia is above average. In August 2002, 2003 and 2004 a relatively high amount of persons died from the effects of senile dementia. High temperatures probably played a part in those years.

Joop de Beer