TAIPEI - Cancer has been the leading cause of death in Taiwan for 31 consecutive years, local authorities said Thursday.
Cancer is followed by cardiac and cerebrovascular disease in terms of mortality, according to statistics released by the island's health authorities on Thursday.
Nearly 70 percent of last year's 153,823 Taiwan deaths were related to nine major diseases, including malignancy, cardiac disease, cerebrovascular disease and diabetes, the statistics showed.
Accidents contributed to only 4.5 percent of the deaths, it said.
Compared with 2011, the mortality rates for high blood pressure disease and chronic lower respiratory disease increased 2.8 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, in 2012.
Death rates for other diseases, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis in particular, have declined due to prevention and treatment efforts.
The average lifespan for Taiwan people was 79.5 years in 2012, 0.3 years longer than that of 2011, according to the statistics.