Cancer continues to be leading cause of death in Taiwan

September 24, 2020

Statistics by the Taiwanese Ministry of the Interior (MOI) has shown that cancer, or malignant tumours, still remain the top cause of death in Taiwan even in 2019, ahead of other common diseases such as heart disease, pneumonia, cerebrovascular disease, and diabetes. Cancer has been a leading cause of death in the country for the past 38 consecutive years, with increasing mortality. Cancer has also been thought to lower Taiwan’s average life expectancy by as much as four years.

According to the MOI, the average life span in Taiwan rose to a record high of 80.9 years in 2019, with men and women averaging 77.7 years and 84.2 years, respectively. However, the average life expectancy would be roughly 84.8 years if cancer were ever to be eliminated. Heart disease was noted to lower this figure by 1.5 years, and pneumonia by one year.

Common causes for malignant tumours – with most victims being 55 or older – include smoking, diet, lifestyle, and chronic stress, typical to life in Taiwan. From the statistics, the MOI said that more men have died from malignant tumours than women, possibly attributable to differences in eating habits, careers, and physiology between the two sexes. Similarly, more men have died from cerebrovascular disease, accidental injuries, chronic lower respiratory disease, and liver disease than women in 2019.


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