Dementia deaths up as heart disease falls in Australia

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walking slow causes dementiaThe number of Australians dying from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is rising steadily, the latest figures released by the Bureau of Statistics show.

The figures show 147,098 people died in Australia in 2012, 166 more than in 2011.

The gender split was almost equal, with males accounting for 50.8 per cent of deaths.

Heart disease is still the leading cause of death, with 20,046 deaths in 2012. However this has fallen steadily since 2003.

Overall, people are as likely to die of diseases related to the circulatory system as they are of disease related to tumours, such as cancer.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was the third leading cause of death, accounting for 10,369 or seven per cent of all deaths in 2012.

Ninety five per cent of these deaths occurred in people aged 75 or over.

For women, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease has overtaken cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke as the second leading cause of death, and breast cancer remains the sixth most common cause of death.

For men, lung cancer remains the second leading cause of death and dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is now the fifth leading cause, replacing prostate cancer which is now ranked sixth.

Suicide was the 14th most common cause of death in 2012 overall, but remains the 10th leading cause for men. Suicide is the leading cause of death for males and females aged from 15 to 44.

Overall, the death rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders was double that of non-Indigenous Australians.

The leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was heart disease, with diabetes ranked as the second leading cause.

Source: The Australian

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