Causes of death
More than half of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases and cancer
In 2017, 31,040 men and 31,490 women died in the Flemish Region.
The two most important groups of causes of death were diseases of the cardiovascular system (28%) and cancer (or other neoplasm) (27%). More than half of all deaths in 2017 could therefore be attributed to these 2 groups of causes of death.
The percentage of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases is slowly decreasing. Since 2012, the share of the two main causes of death is almost equal.
More cancer deaths in men than in women
In 2017, cancer caused most fatalities among men (30%). Deaths due to cardiovascular diseases came second with 26%.
In women, cardiovascular diseases were the main cause of death (31%). Death due to cancer followed at some distance (23%).
Mortality caused by respiratory diseases came in third place in both men and women.
Cancer mortality gradually increases with age
Mortality caused by cancer showed a gradual increase from the age of 50 in 2017. Mortality due to cardiovascular diseases increased rapidly from the age of 80.
In 2017, the risk of dying from cancer for those over 65 years was nearly twice as high for men as for women. The risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease was greater in men than in women at each age.
Higher mortality in Flemish Region due to cardiovascular diseases and cancer than in other regions
In 2017, there were, relatively speaking, slightly more deaths due to cardiovascular disease in the Flemish Region than in the other 2 regions. This also applied to deaths due to cancer.