Major Causes of Premature Death in Wales

The five top causes of death in the under-75s in Wales are, in this order: cancer, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, drugs and alcohol, and suicide. The data are given in Table 1, below (sources quoted in the sub-topics which follow). The same order, with very similar percentages, are found for the UK as a whole.

Table 1: Top Causes of Premature Death in Wales, Prior to Age 75 (2014)

Cause of Death Men Women Total Percentage
Cancers 2350 2020 4370 42.4%
Cardiovascular diseases 1599 770 2369 23.0%
Respiratory diseases 559 450 1009 9.8%
Drugs and Alcohol(2) 457 261 718 7.0%
Suicide 199 (317)(1) 48 (76)(1) 247 (393) 2.4% (3.8%)
Dementia/Alzheimer’s 86 62 148 1.4%
Diabetes 76 29 105 1.0%
Other causes not itemised 774 564 1338 13.0%
TOTAL 6100 4204 10,304 100%

(1)2014 (2013 in brackets)

(2)Data for 2012 used. Data relates to all ages, but deaths at 75 and older account for only ~10% of the total in this category.

Although suicide ranks in fifth place in Table 1, up to age 46 suicide is the lead killer of men. More men under 46 kill themselves than are killed by all cancers combined or by all cardiovascular diseases combined.

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