Statistics: Many more deaths in Germany

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Federal Statistical Office publishes figures on deaths in Germany

The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reports a slight increase in deaths in 2012 - compared to the previous year, the number of deaths increased by two percent. The most common cause of death remains the cardiovascular disease. They accounted for more than 40 percent of the deaths. A striking peculiarity in the statistics is the significant increase in deaths due to certain infectious and parasitic diseases, even if these make up only 2.1 percent of the deaths.

According to official statistics, a total of 869,582 people (416,423 men, 453,159 women) died across Germany in 2012. Behind the cardiovascular diseases, "malignant neoplasms", that is cancer, were the second most common cause of death. However, diseases of the respiratory system (seven percent of deaths) and the digestive system (4.6 percent of deaths) are also responsible for a proportion of the total number of deaths that should not be underestimated.

Older people in particular die of cardiovascular diseases According to the Federal Statistical Office, cardiovascular diseases show that a large proportion of the 349,217 deceased who succumbed to these diseases had already reached senior age. According to Destatis, 92 percent were older than 65 years. A total of 55,425 people died of what is probably the most well-known form of acute cardiovascular disease, the heart attack, whereby men were affected more often than women (around 56 percent men and 44 percent women).

Cancer the second leading cause of death With 221,611 deaths, cancer was more than a quarter of the causes of death overall, although the frequency of diagnosed cancers differs between the sexes. While men most often suffered from “malignant neoplasms of the digestive organs or malignant neoplasms of the respiratory organs”, breast cancer is a particularly common cause of death for women in addition to cancer of the digestive organs.

Increase in fatal infectious and parasitic diseases According to the Federal Statistical Office, the significant increase in “deaths due to infectious and parasitic diseases” in 2012 is striking. Ten percent more people died from such a disease than in the previous year. "The trend of increasing these diseases continues," emphasizes the Federal Statistical Office in its current press release. Compared to 2002, "75 percent more people died from such a disease," the Federal Office added.

The non-natural cause of death is also shown in the current statistics. They account for 3.8 percent of total deaths. Almost 33,000 fatalities have resulted in injuries, poisoning and the like. According to the Federal Statistical Office, around 30 percent of these deaths were due to suicide, although men are apparently much more at risk here than women (74 percent men, 26 percent women). (fp)

Image: Andreas Dengs, /

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