Independent News & Media

Report finds cancer causes most lost years

CANCER is the biggest cause of years of life lost among Australians, a new report says, laying out the "fatal burden" of diseases.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report showed that in the 143,500 deaths in 2010, 2.25 million years of life were lost as a result of disease.

As a measure of the difference between a healthy life and the number of years lost through premature death, the report is the first laying out the effects of key diseases.

The biggest contributor to early death in 2010 was cancer at 35% of the total, with cardiovascular diseases responsible for 23%.

Those were followed by injuries at 13%, neurological conditions at 6% and respiratory diseases at 5%.

Injuries were the top cause of fatal burden among those aged 45 or less; cancers peaked at about 55-64 years old; and cardiovascular disease was the leading cause for those aged 85 or older.

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