TB, flu and pneumonia main killers

Of the 607184 deaths that occurred in 2006, tuberculosis, influenza and pneumonia were the most common causes, Statistics SA said yesterday.

Of the 607184 deaths that occurred in 2006, tuberculosis, influenza and pneumonia were the most common causes, Statistics SA said yesterday.

According to the mortality and causes of death statistical release, the number of deaths continues to increase in the country with slightly more male than female deaths.

The prevalence of causes of death also remained unchanged between 2005 and 2006.

"For both years, the dominant contributors to the growth in mortality were deaths associated with tuberculosis, influenza and pneumonia," the release said.

This was the case in both women and men. Intestinal infectious diseases, influenza and pneumonia contributed to the highest percentage of deaths among infants younger than a year and children between the ages of one and four years.

Cerebrovascular diseases and other forms of heart disease were the two leading contributors to deaths in people aged 50 years and older. Overall certain disorders involving the immune mechanism such as common immunodeficiency and those associated with other major defects were the eighth leading underlying cause of death.HIV was the ninth.

Each of them accounted for slightly more than 2percent of all deaths.

Most deaths were linked to natural causes and the contribution of natural deaths to the overall number of deaths continued to increase over time.

There was also indirect evidence that HIV may be contributing to the increase in the level of mortality for prime-aged adults given the increase in the number of deaths from associated diseases. - Sapa

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