Rise in non-communicable disease deaths in SA

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Concerns raised by a recent [b]Statistics South Africa’s[/b] report regarding causes of death in SA, were rekindled when [b]Liberty Group[/b] released claims statistics showing lifestyle diseases and injuries were among the leading causes of insurance claims, writes [s]Business Report[/s]. Musculoskeletal injuries, cardiac and cardiovascular disease, as well as other unnatural causes of death or disability, consumed a larger share of claims paid out, even though cancer was still the leading cause of all claims. Liberty has confirmed StatSA’s findings that the SA mortality rate is declining, but the insurer’s statistics reaffirmed that lifestyle diseases were costing more not only for insurers, but for the economy at large.

[i]]Statistician General Pali Lehohla’s[/b] latest report on causes of death in SA shows continued declines in deaths due to communicable diseases like HIV[/i], but increases in deaths due to injuries and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). According to a [s]Health-e[/s] report, using 2011 data collected by [s]Home Affairs[/s] through death registration, Statistics SA found that a decrease in deaths linked to communicable diseases like tuberculosis (TB), influenza, pneumonia and intestinal infections, particularly among women. However, there has, in recent years, been a modest increase in deaths due to NCDs. Among the 10 leading causes of death, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and hypertension are on the rise.

[i]Capetonians have a longer life span than Tshwane residents[/i] – men in Cape Town live on average to 54, while their Tshwane counterparts live to 52, reports [s]Mail & Guardian[/s]. Capetonian women live up to 64, while in Tshwane the age for women is 56. In the causes of natural deaths, TB topped the statistics in both areas, with 8.2% in Tshwane and 6.6% in Cape Town. Deaths caused by diseases stemming from HIV were much higher in Cape Town, at 5.7%, while in Tshwane it was 2.6%. Chronic lower respiratory diseases, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia were also high on the list of causes of natural death. The leading causes of death among black and coloured people was TB, reported at 12% and 8% respectively, while most fatalities among Indian people was caused by diabetes (13.5%) and fatalities among white people (11.3%) were mostly due to heart disease.

Full report in Business Report
Full Health-e report
Statistics SA report
Full Mail & Guardian report

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