What do people in Spain die of?

George Mills
George Mills - [email protected]
What do people in Spain die of?
An ambulance in Madrid. Photo: Madrid Emergency Vehicles/Flickr

New figures show Spain's roads are getting safer and deaths from heart attacks and strokes are down but Alzheimer's Disease is emerging as a big killer.


A new report from Spain's National Statistics Institute (INE) into mortality in Spain shows that deaths in road accidents fell 9.4 percent in 2011 against 2010.
This means 2,116 died on the nation's ever-safer roads.
Meanwhile, heart attacks and other cardiac deaths were responsible for 30.5 percent of all deaths in Spain in 2011, slightly down from the 31.16 percent recorded in 2010.  
Less positively, diseases of the nervous system including Alzheimer's disease were up 4.9 percent in Spain in 2011 to make up 5.2 percent of all deaths in the country. 
The Alzheimers rate has doubled in the last two decades in Spain, reported El Mundo on Thursday.
In other bad news, deaths from respiratory disease were also up in 2011: by 4.9 percent.
Wednesday's report from the INE shows that the overall number of people who died was up 1.4 percent in 2011 with 387,911 deaths registered in the country.
The top three ways to die in Spain in 2011 were are illnesses of the circulatory system, which make up nearly a third of all deaths at 30.5 percent, tumours (28.2 percent) and diseases of the respiratory system, at 10.9 percent.
Men are more likely to die from tumours while respiratory illnesses are more dangerous for women.
The number of suicides in Spain crept up in 2011, hitting 3,180, or 0.7 percent higher than in 2010. 
While the Spain's National Statistics Office said it was too early to draw conclusions from this figure, El Mundo noted that this was the first time the suicide rate had increased since 2008.
The 2010 figure was the lowest in two decades, the newspaper reported.
Other major causes of death in Spain in 2011 were illnesses of the digestive system (5 percent) and mental illness (3.9 per cent).
Spain also appears to be one of the safest places in the world for women giving birth with the new INE figures showing that just 14 women in the country died during childbirth or during the perinatal period in 2011.


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