Cancer, heart disease slay the most KoreansCancer remained the leading cause of death in Korea in 2017, with heart-related illness second, government data showed Wednesday.
A total of 285,534 Koreans died in 2017, up 1.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from Statistics Korea. This is the largest death toll since 1983, when the statistics office started to compile such data. Of all deaths reported last year, 78,863 people died of cancer, accounting for 27.6 percent of the total, making it the leading cause of fatality in Korea.
The death rate - the number of deaths per 100,000 people - from cancer rose to 153.9 last year, up from the previous year’s 153. Deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases were tallied at 30,852, or 10.8 percent, for a death rate of 60.2. Neurological, or brain-related, illnesses and pneumonia made up 8 percent and 6.8 percent of all deaths, respectively, followed by suicides at 4.4 percent. A total of 9,291 people died of dementia last year, up 1.4 percent from a year earlier. From a decade earlier, it more than doubled.