A study by the Central Bureau of Statistics shows that the cause of death for one in four Israelis is cancer, making the disease the number one killer in Israel. The CBS report analyzes numbers through 2010; in that year 10,380 of the 39,418 Israelis who died that year expired from cancer-related causes, far more than from heart-related diseases, which claimed 6,443 people.
The uptick in deaths from cancer dates to 2000; previous to that, heart issues were the leading cause of death. In 1970, 29.3% of deaths were from heart disease, with that number falling to just 16.3% by 2010. At the same time, deaths from cancer rose from 16.5% in 1970 to 26.3% in 2010. Deaths from stroke were also down during that period – from 12.5% in 1970 to 5.8% in 2010.
The third leading cause of death among Israelis in 2010 was diabetes, which claimed 2,280 people, or 5.8% of all deaths. Deaths from stroke and respiratory problems followed, responsible for about 5% of deaths. Further down on the list of causes of death were infections, kidney disease, pneumonia, and high blood pressure, the study said.
Israel's life expectancy, in a report released this week by the World Economic Forum, is 81.5 years, the eighth highest in the world. The CBS report showed that in 2010, 79% of those who died were over age 65, with 64% of them over age 75 and 34% over 85 years of age. Only 7% of those who died were under age 45, and 1.6% were one year old and younger.
The chief cause of death for those between 45 and 85 was cancer, while for those living beyond 85, the chief cause was heart-related, the report added.