Quarter of all deaths in England and Wales in 2003 were caused by cancer

A quarter of all deaths in England and Wales in 2003 were caused by cancer according to detailed analysis of deaths occurring in England and Wales. The main causes of death in 2003 were circulatory diseases (38 per cent), which include coronary heart disease and strokes, followed by cancers (26 per cent) and respiratory diseases (14 per cent), which includes pneumonia.

The annual statistical report on deaths analysed by sex, age and cause is published today by the Office for National Statistics.

Key statistics include:

  • There were 538,254 deaths in England and Wales in 2003, an increase of 0.9 per cent from 533,527 in 2002. Deaths in 2003 comprised 253,852 male deaths and 284,402 female deaths.

  • Allowing for changes in the age structure of the population, there has been a long-term trend of decreasing death rates. For example, between 1993 and 2003, rates fell by 21 per cent for males to 7,985 per million population and by 13 per cent for females to 5,578 per million population (see Background Note 5).

  • The death rate from cancer of the trachea, bronchus and lung fell by 4 per cent for males between 2002 and 2003, while the rate for females increased by 0.3 per cent in 2003.

  • Death rates from coronary heart disease decreased for both sexes between 2002 and 2003: the rate for males fell by 5 per cent, while for women it fell by 4 per cent.

  • In 2003 there were 16,693 deaths from injury and poisoning, accounting for 3 per cent of all deaths. Of these deaths, 61 per cent were males.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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