Lung cancer, heart disease leading killers in Switzerland

A patient is screened for lung cancer, which has been the leading cause of cancer deaths in Switzerland for more than 40 years Keystone

This content was published on July 7, 2015 - 15:34

One in twenty Swiss dies of lung cancer, according to the latest figures published by the Federal Statistical Office, while heart disease and dementia were among the other leading causes of death.

The latest cause of death survey from the Federal Statistical Office showed that 21,512 – or one third of all deaths in Switzerland in 2013 – could be traced back to heart disease. That figure, however, has decreased since 20 years ago, when it stood at 41%.

Cancer was responsible for another 26% of deaths in the country, showing an increase of 1.5% over 1995. However, when the population increase since then is taken into account, deaths from cancer have actually fallen by 27% for men and 19% for women.

Lung cancer, shown to be the most deadly form of the disease in Switzerland for more than 40 years, claimed about 3,200 lives in 2013.

Due to Switzerland’s ageing population, the number of deaths linked to dementia is on the rise. In 2013, nearly 6,000 deaths in the country were a direct cause of dementia, while in 1995, that figure stood at 2,100.

Accidents among women have also claimed more lives in recent years. In 2013, 4.2% of deaths among men were the result of an accident, while 3.8% of women who died suffered an accident. Those numbers have stayed about the same for men since 1995 but increased 51% among women.

Finally, the statistical office found that the number of suicides has stayed fairly constant since 2009, at 1,070 cases. Since 1995, the number of suicides has fallen by 25%, although the 1995 figures also included a small number of assisted suicides.

Assisted suicides did increase, with 79 more reported than in the previous year. A total of 587 people died as a result of assisted suicide in 2013.

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