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Trends of selected causes of deaths

  • The number of deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases has been declining in the past 25 years, while the number of deaths due to cancer has been on the rise, narrowing the gap between the share of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

  • In 2005, the number of deaths due to cancer for males has surpassed those due to cardiovascular diseases.

     Table 1– Annual number of deaths due to cancer and major cardiovascular diseases by sex, Canada, 1979 to 2005

  • In terms of age-standardized mortality rates, both causes of death (cancer and cardiovascular diseases) have been declining, though much more so for cardiovascular diseases.

  • In 2005, male age-standardized cancer death rate was still lower than cardiovascular diseases death rate, while female age-standardized cancer death rate had already surpassed that of cardiovascular diseases rate in 2003.

     Table 2 – Age–standardized mortality rates for cancer and major cardiovascular diseases, by sex, Canada, 2000 to 2005

  • Deaths by influenza doubled between 2004 and 2005, from 296 to 678 deaths. Deaths due to influenza were relatively large (567 deaths) in 2000. This number of deaths dropped to 92 in 2001, and then increased in the following years.

  •  In 2005, there were 398 deaths due to viral hepatitis.  The number of deaths due to viral hepatitis was 138 in 2000. The number of viral hepatitis deaths jumped to 320 in 2001 and then climbed slowly to level off around 400 deaths in 2003.

  •  Certain other intestinal infections were responsible for 965 deaths in 2005. In 2001, 299 deaths were due to certain other intestinal infections. It rose to 576 in 2003 and almost doubled to 1,022 deaths in 2004.

  •  The number of deaths due to certain other intestinal infections during this period was mainly due to deaths by Enterocolitis due to Clostridium difficile or C. Difficile. C. Difficile was responsible for 916 deaths in 2005.

  • Other acute ischaemic heart diseases, including acute coronary syndrome, were also on the rise since 2001 and had its sharpest increase in the most recent years: from 627 deaths in 2003 to 699 deaths in 2004 and to 897 deaths in 2005.