Israeli Death Rates from Cancer, Heart Disease, Among Lowest in OECD

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; Who forgiveth all thine iniquity; who healeth all thy diseases…” (Psalm 103:2-3)

Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics last week released its report on Causes of Death in Israel in 2013, which includes a few positive notes about the state of health of Israelis.

The report’s highlights were:

Mortality rates from cardiovascular (heart) and cerebrovascular (brain) diseases have gone down by more than 80% since the mid-1970s.

The most common cause of death in Israel in 2013 was malignant neoplasms (cancer), followed by heart disease.

The Death rates from malignant neoplasms (cancer), ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular diseases in Israel are lower than in most Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

The mortality rate from trachea, bronchus and lung cancer, which is the most common cancer type in Israeli men, is very low relative to the OECD countries. However, the mortality rate from breast cancer, which is the most common type in Israeli women, is very high relative to the OECD.

Also, mortality rates from diabetes, infectious diseases and kidney diseases are very high in Israel compared with OECD countries.

In 2013, 41,479 residents died in Israel, half a percent of Israel’s population that year. 49.4% of the deceased were male, 50.6% female.

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6% of the deceased were under age 45. 80% of the deceased were over age 65 (of which 65% were older than 75 and 36% – were over the age of 85).

1.3% of the deceased (539) were infants under one year old.

The ten most common causes of death led to 75% of all deaths in 2013. The two most common causes of death were malignant neoplasms (cancer) and heart disease — 41% of all deaths in Israel resulted from these two causes. As in all recent years, malignant neoplasms were the most common cause of death in 2013, making up about a quarter of all deaths.

External causes constituted one third of men’s deaths and one eighth of women’s. Of all the external causes of death, the biggest gender gap was in incidents of suicides, traffic accidents and murder. The adjusted mortality rate from suicide by age among men was four times higher than among women (6.8% vs. 1.7%, respectively). Death from road accidents was 3.8 higher among men than women (6.6% vs. 1.8%, respectively). The murder rate among men was 2.8 times higher than among women (2.3% versus 0.8%, respectively).