CPR First Aid

Leading Causes of Death in Australia in 2023

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released information regarding the leading causes of death in Australia in 2023. It lists cancer, dementia, ischaemic heart disease, respiratory diseases, other cardiac conditions, cerebrovascular diseases, diabetes, and COVID-19 in descending order. For February 2023 alone, all of these resulted in 9,473 doctor-certified deaths and most of the casualties were 85 years old and over. While the same website provides more explanation for this data, other resources may help us learn more about the conditions, causes, symptoms, prevention, and first aid. A compilation of this information is found below which may help us protect ourselves and our loved ones from the aforementioned diseases.

What are the Leading Causes of Death in Australia as of February 2023?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics provides the following information regarding doctor-certified deaths by cause as of February 2023.

Australian Bureau of Statistics: Feb 2023 - Doctor-certified deaths by cause.

Cause of Death Number of cases
Cancer 3,803
Dementia 1,176
Ischaemic heart disease 920
Respiratory diseases 875
  Chronic lower respiratory diseases 485
    Influenza and pneumonia 125
      Pneumonia 121
Other cardiac conditions 696
Cerebrovascular diseases 640
Diabetes 418
COVID-19 214

The total number of cases would result in 9,473.

What are the Age-Specific Rates of the Leading Causes of Death in Australia?

The same government website releases the following age-specific rates as of February 2023.

Age Rate
0-44 3.679
45-64 24.497
65-74 78.924
75-84 239.336
85 and over 898.541

The table shows that ages 85 and over had the highest rate.

What are the Age-Specific Rates of the Leading Causes of Death in Australia for Males?

The ABS provides the following data for males.

Age Rate
0-44 4.887
45-64 31.386
65-74 96.467
75-84 292.222
85 and over 956.944

The table shows that males aged 85 and over had the highest rate.

What are the Age-Specific Rates of the Leading Causes of Death in Australia for Females?

Following is the date for females.

Age Rate
0-44 2.438
45-64 17.844
65-74 62.704
75-84 191.900
85 and over 859.646

It also shows that females aged 85 and over have the highest rate among all ages.

What is the Description of the Leading Causes of Death in Australia?

Healthdirect, a health information service the Australian government supports, describes and explains the top 3 conditions below.

  • Cancer – is a disease of the cells of the body that happens when they enlarge and increase in number uncontrollably. 
  • Dementia – a gradual loss of your memory, intellect, ability to think rationally, and social skills.
  • Ischaemic/Coronary heart disease – affects the blood vessels that supply blood to your heart

The same website provides additional information for the remaining conditions in the list.

What are the Reasons for the Leading Causes of Death in Australia?

Healthdirect lists the following possible reasons for having a health condition.

  • Cancer 
    • Smoking
    • Drinking alcohol
    • Being overweight
    • Not getting enough exercise
    • Exposure to radiation
  • Dementia
    • Alzheimer’s disease
    • Vascular dementia
    • Lewy body disease
    • Frontotemporal dementia
    • Alcohol-related dementia
  • Ischaemic/Coronary heart disease
    • Cholesterol
    • Smoking
    • Excessive alcohol consumption
    • Lack of exercise
    • Social isolation
    • Being overweight

The full list of all the possible causes of having the above diseases is on the website of Healthdirect.

What are the Symptoms of the Leading Causes of Death in Australia?

Below are some of the symptoms Healthdirect lists you may want to take note of.

  • Cancer
    • Breast lump, shape change, pain, discharge
    • Lump anywhere the body
    • Blood in a bowel motion or urine
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Unusual vaginal discharge or bleeding
  • Dementia
    • Changes in planning and problem-solving skills
    • Trouble doing the usual daily tasks
    • Problems with talking or writing
    • Confusion about time and place
  • Ischaemic/Coronary heart disease
    • Chest pain
    • Heart attack
    • Greater tiredness than usual
    • Shortness of breath
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting

A more detailed list of the symptoms is also available on Healthdirect.

How to Prevent the Leading Causes of Death in Australia?

Aside from the common tips of quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, eating a balanced diet, exercising, and maintaining weight, Healthdirect also suggests doing the following.

  • Cancer
    • Find ways to protect yourself from the sun
    • Undergo a free screening program for breast cancer, cervical cancer, and bowel cancer for early detection
  • Dementia
    • Doing things to keep your brain activity such as doing crosswords
    • Being socially active
  • Ischaemic/Coronary heart disease
    • Identifying your risk factor and building a plan to manage it with the help of a doctor

A doctor may also help or refer you to other health professionals to follow the common tips for prevention.

What is the First Aid for the Leading Causes of Death in Australia?

Healthdirect recommends doing the following first aid steps if you suspect someone having issues with their health.

  • Cancer
    • See a doctor to detect it as early as possible or call Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20
  • Dementia
    • Learn ways to cope with the illness and improve quality of life such as having carers and taking medicines to help with memory and thinking
  • Ischaemic/Coronary heart disease
    • Don’t wait until you notice symptoms, instead, arrange a Heart Health Check with your doctor if you are 45 years old and over
    • Call 000 for sudden chest pains

Enrolling in a CPR course also equips you with the skills and knowledge to properly respond to heart attacks. CPR First Aid (RTO NO 21903) offers a free online, introductory class on its website and affordable in-person training in its multiple centres throughout Australia.

Conclusion

The leading causes of death in Australia as of February 2023 are cancer, dementia, ischaemic heart disease, respiratory diseases, other cardiac conditions, cerebrovascular diseases, diabetes, and COVID-19. Data shows that males and females aged 85 and over have the highest rates among all ages. Keeping a healthy lifestyle and following specific prevention tips are helpful. Early detection is important so taking regular tests may allow for a treatment as soon as possible. It is also ideal to take note of the first-aid measures or even enroll in training such as a CPR course. It will equip you with knowledge and skills in properly responding to emergencies.

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