Malignant tumors remain top cause of death in Taiwan

Cancer lowered Taiwan’s average life expectancy by four years in 2019

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Cancer continues to be leading cause of death in Taiwan. (Formosa Cancer Foundation photo)

Cancer continues to be leading cause of death in Taiwan. (Formosa Cancer Foundation photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Malignant tumors were the leading cause of death in Taiwan last year and have lowered the country's average life expectancy by four years, according to statistics released by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) on Wednesday (Sept. 16).

The average life span in Taiwan rose to a record high of 80.9 years last year, with men and women averaging 77.7 years and 84.2 years, respectively. However, the MOI said the average life expectancy would be 84.8 years if cancer were eliminated.

The ministry said that after calculating the effects of the country's top 10 causes of death on life expectancy, it found that malignant tumors lowered the figure by four years, heart disease by 1.5 years, and pneumonia by one year. It said cancer has remained the top cause of death in Taiwan for 38 consecutive years with increasing mortality.

The MOI noted that malignant tumors account for over 27 percent of all deaths in the nation and that most of their victims are 55 or older. It said the most common causes for the tumors are smoking, diet, lifestyle, and chronic stress.

The next nine most common causes of death in 2019 were heart disease, pneumonia, cerebrovascular disease, diabetes, accidental injuries, chronic lower respiratory disease, hypertension, kidney disease, and liver disease, according to the statistics

The MOI said more men have died from malignant tumors, cerebrovascular disease, accidental injuries, chronic lower respiratory disease, and liver disease than women. It added that this could be attributable to differences in eating habits, careers, and physiology between the two sexes, reported CNA.