Mortality rate down, but heart disease still biggest killer
The Spanish mortality rate fell sharply in 2006 from 2005.31 January 2008
MADRID - The Spanish mortality rate fell sharply in 2006 from 2005, when a particularly severe flu epidemic swept the country, according to figures released Wednesday by Spain's National Statistics Institute (INE).
The mortality rate, measured as the number of deaths per 100,000 people, fell to 843, a decline of 4.1 percent from 2005. In total, 371,478 people died in Spain during 2006, 15,877 less than the previous year. The leading causes of death were heart disease, which claimed 32.5 percent of the deceased, and cancer, which killed a further 27.4 percent. The average age at the time of death was around 76 years and four months. Respiratory illnesses were the third-biggest killer, accounting for 10.6 percent of all deaths.
The INE data also shows the prevalence of different diseases among men and women. Men, for example, are more likely to die from a heart attack, while women are more likely to lose their lives to a stroke. Breast cancer was the most common cancer among women, while lung cancer was highest among men.
Notably, deaths from AIDS fell by nine percent, deaths in traffic accidents declined by 7.7 percent, and the number of suicides dropped 4.9 percent.
Between regions, the highest mortality rate was in Asturias due to the region's elderly population, while the lowest was in the Canary Islands.
[Copyright EL PAÍS 2008]
Subject: Spanish news