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Home Industry News Cancer now ranked as main cause of death in several European countries

Cancer now ranked as main cause of death in several European countries

15th August 2016

A new study has indicated that cancer has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in a number of European nations.

New data for 2016 has been published in the European Heart Journal showing that in the European region – defined as the 53 member states of the World Health Organisation – cardiovascular disease causes more than four million deaths each year, or 45 percent of all deaths.

However, progress in preventing and treating the disease has led to large decreases in heart disease in a number of countries. As such, in the EU nations of Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and the UK, more men now die from cancer than cardiovascular disease.

This was also the case in Norway and Israel, which are not members of the EU, while among women more die from cancer than cardiovascular disease in Denmark and Israel.

Study leader Dr Nick Townsend, senior researcher at the British Heart Foundation Centre on Population Approaches for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention at the University of Oxford, said: "Although we have seen progress across Europe in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, leading to decreases in mortality from it, it is clear that such progress is not consistent across the continent."

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