Top Causes of Death in Spain

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Although death rates due to cardiovascular diseases in Spain are among the lowest in the EU, they represent the main cause of death in Spain, accounting for 30% of all deaths in 2014 (33% of deaths among women and 27% among men).

Cancer is the second most important cause of mortality, accounting for 27% of all deaths (21% among women and 32% among men). Deaths from respiratory diseases represent 11% of all deaths (10% among women and 12% among men), followed by deaths from nervous system diseases (including dementia) at 10% (14% among women
and 7% among men).

Spanish women at age 65 reached 23.0 years in 2015 (up from 20.8 years in 2000) and that of men reached 19.0 years (up from 16.7 years in 2000). Nevertheless, not all of these additional years of life are lived in good health. At age 65, Spanish women can expect to live 9.0 of their remaining years free of disability (40% of their remaining
years of life) and men 9.5 years (around 50%).

Looking at trends in more specific causes of death, heart diseases were still the leading cause of death in Spain in 2014.

Deaths due to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias became the third leading cause of death, reflecting the effect of population ageing, better diagnosis, lack of effective treatments as well as more precise coding. Lung cancer remained the main cause of death from cancer, reflecting the long-term consequences of high smoking rates. Colorectal cancer was the second leading cause of cancer death. On a more positive note, deaths from transport accidents fell substantially after 2000 thanks to a number of policies aimed to improve road safety.

Source: OECD Spain Country Health Profile 2017

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