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Dementia on the rise as cause of death

Cardiovascular diseases, cancer and dementia - which is on the rise - are the three most common causes of death in Switzerland, says the Federal Statistics Office.

Published on Thursday, 2009 figures showed that cardiovascular diseases accounted for 36 per cent of deaths (22,228 people), while cancer – most commonly lung cancer – caused 26 per cent of deaths (16,062 people).

The number of deaths resulting from dementia as the underlying illness doubled over the past decade with 4,700 people dying from the condition in 2009. In a statement, the statistics office said the rise was related to the ageing population and also from doctors being more likely to diagnose dementia.

In all, 57 per cent of the deceased in 2009 were aged 80 or older, with 78 per cent at least 70 years old.

Other causes are predominant in the deaths of younger people. Cancer is the biggest killer, followed by accidents and cardiovascular diseases.

However, generally the mortality rate has decreased for all ages, observed the statistics office.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR