Report: Coronary heart disease the leading cause of death in Australia

Richard Laycock 17 November 2017

funeral burial grave cemetery death headstoneDementia and Alzheimer's disease a top three cause in all but one state.

Coronary heart disease, dementia and Alzheimer's disease and cerebrovascular disease are the three leading causes of death for Australians, according to the latest Mortality Over Regions and Time report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, which looked at all causes of death in Australia between 2011 and 2015, found that coronary heart disease was the most common cause in all Australian states and territories.

The top three causes of death accounted for 42.83% of all deaths in the top 20 and for 28.01% of all deaths over that time span.

Coronary heart disease was responsible for 101,373 deaths, which was 20.55% of all deaths in the top 20 and 13.44% of all deaths.

Below are the top 20 causes of death for each state.

Top 20 causes of death by state

CauseNSWVICQLDWASATASACTNTTotal
Coronary heart disease34,16924,18220,3019,0259,1842,8371,016659101,373
Dementia and Alzheimer's disease18,41614,1799,6164,9076,1081,74160118655,754
Cerebrovascular disease20,09912,76610,3724,0394,6551,48961115554,186
Lung cancer13,9309,7568,3073,9393,2521,26840432841,184
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease10,8598,1016,3312,5602,7571,18435331732,462
Diabetes6,8135,6234,0191,9502,01875027934621,798
Colorectal cancer6,7025,5544,1601,7151,79563430011920,979
Cancer, unknown, ill-defined6,9124,5013,6091,5491,59259121911519,088
Heart failure and complications and ill-defined heart disease6,7174,8562,1661,2281,4455651728317,232
Prostate cancer5,1903,8753,3941,3271,3201706915,345
Breast cancer4,8503,6472,7121,3351,2183962129014,460
Influenza and pneumonia4,1854,0462,2441,2231,34738413813,567
Suicide3,6812,8793,2881,7731,09137317823113,494
Pancreatic cancer4,4293,2922,2471,1391,1064361706612,885
Kidney failure3,8383,4681,6361,0511,00729210711,399
Accidental falls4,0411,6601,1989332571108,199
Hypertensive disease4,1742,3418933801337,921
Cardiac arrhythmias3,5192,5817782921447,314
Liver cancer2,8732,0251,682109996,788
Other ill-defined causes3,6029707623561205,810
Leukaemia2,1101,6307564496
Septicaemia3,4383,438
Melanoma1,7847932,577
Non-rheumatic valve disorders1,6782521072,037
Land transport accidents9312221153
Lymphomas748748
Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue247247
Liver disease155155
Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period, congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities100100
Malignant neoplasms of lip, oral cavity and pharynx8282
Assault7777

Dementia and Alzheimer's disease was a top three cause in every state or territory except for the Northern Territory.

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