TB still SA’s top killer

Tuberculosis killed the majority of more than 460 000 people who died in 2015 Picture: pexels.com
Tuberculosis killed the majority of more than 460 000 people who died in 2015
Picture: pexels.com

Tuberculosis stubbornly remains the main cause of death for South Africans‚ killing most of the 460 236 people who died in 2015.

According to the results of the Mortality and Causes of Death released by Statistician-General Pali Lehohla in Pretoria on Tuesday‚ diabetes and cerebrovascular diseases are the second and third largest killers respectively.

Although TB maintained its number one spot in the causes of death‚ non-communicable diseases disease continue their rise in the rankings of top 10 leading causes of death with diabetes moving from third position in 2014 to second position in 2015.

Non-communicable diseases formed 60% of the ten leading underlying natural causes of death.

In addition to diabetes‚ cerebrovascular diseases‚ other forms of heart diseases‚ hypertensive diseases‚ chronic lower respiratory diseases and ischemic heart diseases contributed to the rise in non-communicable diseases.

According to Lehohla‚ the continued rise in non-communicable diseases has been fuelled by males and females aged 65 and above.

Females in this age group had nine out of ten non-communicable diseases in the leading causes‚ whilst the ratio for men was eight out of ten.

Non-communicable diseases are responsible for 62‚5% in the top 10 leading causes of death among females age 65 and above. In males of the same age group these constituted 48‚0%.

The second age group leading to a rise in deaths due to non-communicable diseases are those aged 45 to 64 years.

For both males and females‚ six of the top ten leading causes of death were due to non-communicable diseases‚ accounting for 27‚7% for females and 32‚5% among males.

According to Stats SA‚ these findings on the patterns of non-communicable diseases will better inform Sustainable Development goal 3 on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages‚ particularly‚ the indicator on mortality attributed to cardiovascular diseases‚ cancer‚ diabetes or chronic respiratory diseases among those aged 30 to 70 years.

“In turn‚ this will assist better in planning and meeting the SA Government’s National Development Plan goal to ensure a long and healthy life for its population by 2030‚” Lehohla said.

– TMG Digital

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