What are the main causes of death in Japan?

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Cancer is the most common cause of death among Japanese over the age of 40, while suicide is the leading cause among young adults.

In 2020, 378,356 people died of cancer in Japan, according to a report by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare. This represented 27.6% of all deaths that year and equated to one in four people dying from cancer. The death rate from cancer – the number of deaths per 100,000 people – has been steadily increasing and in 2020 reached 307.0. For men, the type of cancer with the highest mortality rate at 88.8 points was lung cancer (53,244 deaths), followed by stomach cancer (27,769) and colorectal cancer (27,715). For women, the most common type with a 38.0-point mortality rate was colorectal cancer (24,069) and then lung cancer (22,337).

The second most common cause of death was heart disease (excluding hypertension) with 205,518 cases and the third was old age with 132,435 cases. Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Affairs guidelines state that old age should be recorded as the cause when there is no other obvious cause of death and any secondary condition resulting from old age. Cases have been on a downward trend, but since 2005 they have started to rise again.

Deaths from pneumonia decreased by 17,073 from the previous year to 78,445. It is believed that people who wear masks and reduce trips during the Corona pandemic have prevented respiratory diseases other than.

Depending on gender and age, cancer deaths increase with age, peaking at 55-59 years for women and 65-69 years for men. For both men and women, suicide was responsible for a high proportion of deaths between the ages of 15 and 34.

(Originally written in Japanese, translated from English, title image by Pixta)

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