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Causes of death, 2010 and 2011

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Released: 2014-01-28

Cancer and heart disease remained the top two leading causes of death for both men and women in 2010 and 2011, a pattern observed since 2000. Together, these two causes of death were responsible for half of all deaths in Canada.

While their rankings have differed somewhat since 2000, the other eight leading causes of death in 2010 and 2011 remained stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, accidents (unintentional injuries), diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, influenza and pneumonia, suicide and kidney diseases.

Together, the 10 leading causes of death were responsible for three-quarters of all deaths in 2010 (76%) and in 2011 (75%). In contrast, they accounted for 80% of all deaths in 2000.

While the age-standardized mortality rates for all 10 of the leading causes of death declined in both 2010 and 2011 compared with 10 years earlier, the rates for cancer (180.4 in 2000 to 154.1 in 2011), heart disease (152.0 to 91.0) and stroke (42.2 to 24.8) have consistently shown year-to-year reductions over the 2000 to 2011 period. This has been the main contributor to a decrease in the all-causes mortality rate, from 615.5 deaths per 100,000 standard population in 2000 to 489.0 in 2011.

  Note to readers

To control for the impact of population aging on death rates, comparisons over time are made using the "age-standardized mortality rate", which shows the number of deaths per 100,000 standard population. This removes the impact of differences in the age structure of populations between reference periods.

The Health Fact Sheets (Catalogue number82-625-X) "The 10 leading causes of death, 2011" and "Trends in mortality rates, 2000 to 2011" are now available from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

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