Nearly six in ten deaths are caused by cancer or cardiovascular diseases. Cancer has been the main cause of death in the male population for many years now. Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death for women.
Cancer number one cause of death
In 2012, nearly 141 thousand Dutch residents died. Cancer accounted for 30.8 percent (43 thousand) and cardiovascular diseases for 27.2 percent (38 thousand). With 10 percent (14 thousand in 2012) lung diseases are the third most common cause of death. Together, these three causes of death account for nearly 70 percent of total annual mortality in the Netherlands.
Most common causes of death, 2012
Cardiovascular diseases main cause of death in female population
Cancer mortality has risen from 27 percent in 1997 to nearly 31 percent in 2012. In 2005, cancer has displaced cardiovascular diseases as the number one cause of death for men, but for women cardiovascular diseases are still the number one cause of death.
Lung cancer also claims most deaths among women
More than one quarter of male cancer deaths die from lung cancer. Another more than 12 percent die from intestinal cancer and more than 10 percent from prostate cancer. Since 2007, lung cancer has also claimed the largest share in total cancer mortality among women (20.2 percent in 2012). Over the past fifteen years, the number of female lung cancer deaths has more than doubled from 1.9 thousand in 1997 to 4 thousand in 2012. With nearly 16 percent, breast cancer is in second place among women followed by intestinal cancer with a share of 13 percent.
Cancer mortality by gender, 2012
Risk of stroke higher for women
Last year, 18 thousand men and 20 thousand women died from cardiovascular diseases. Men often die from myocardial infarctions (20 percent), women from strokes (25 percent). Mortality due to acute myocardial infarctions has been reduced by more than half over the past fifteen years, from more than 14 thousand in 1997 to 6 thousand in 2012. Stroke mortality was reduced from 12.1 thousand in 1997 to 8.5 thousand in 2012.
Lung diseases frequent cause of death among older people
In 2012, nearly 15 thousand people died from lung diseases. Nearly half of them died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and more than one third from pneumonia. Lung diseases are a frequent cause of death in the older population. Four in five women, for example, who died from pneumonia were 80 years or older.
More than 6 thousand non-natural deaths
Most people die from diseases. Less than 5 percent (6.3 thousand) of people died from non-natural causes in 2012. The most frequent non-natural cause of death among men is suicide, followed by traffic accidents. Falling is the most common non-natural cause of death for women, followed by suicide.
Main causes of non-natural death by gender, 2012
Jan Hoogenboezem and Kim de Bruin