What Germans die most often from

How to reduce the risk of illness

According to the Federal Statistical Office, 868,356 people died in 2014. This means that the number of deaths fell by 2.8 percent compared to 2013. As in previous years, the most common cause of death, with a share of 38.9 percent, was cardiovascular disease. But there are other diseases that pose a great danger to the German population. The best way to prevent this is to know and contain the relevant risk factors.

The most common causes of death *

Cardiovascular disease

Heart disease (chronic ischemic heart disease): 69,890

Heart attack (acute myocardial infarction): 48,181

Heart failure (heart failure / heart muscle weakness): 44,551

Heart failure or a heart attack results from constricted coronary arteries and is the result of arteriosclerosis (calcification of the blood vessels). If the heart muscle does not get enough oxygen, it can no longer supply the body with sufficient blood. Around one million people suffer from chronic ischemic heart disease (also called coronary heart disease) in Germany.

Lung and bronchial cancer: 45,049

Tumors in the lungs arise from poisons and pollutants that have been expected of the lungs for years. Around 90 percent of male patients are smokers. It is currently 60 percent of women affected. Lung cancer is usually recognized too late and is rarely curable.

Chronic lung disease (COPD): 27,008

Obstructive pulmonary disease is a chronic lung disease that is responsible for inflamed and narrowed airways and leads to a gradual asphyxiation. The disease is not curable, but medication can relieve shortness of breath and cough. 90 percent of the patients are or were smokers.

Dementia: 24,867

Dementia causes gradual changes in the brain. Affected people become forgetful and are increasingly unable to process and reproduce information. Movement disorders are usually added and the patient becomes bedridden. As eating becomes increasingly difficult, the immune system is severely affected and can cause infections that the patient dies from.

Hypertensive heart disease: 22,859

In hypertensive heart disease, the heart muscle is affected by chronic high blood pressure (arterial hypertension) and can cause heart failure.

Breast cancer: 17,804

Although the incidence of breast cancer is increasing, fewer and fewer women die from it. Early detection promises an up to 90 percent chance of recovery and still remains the most common cause of cancer-related death in women. In rare cases, even men are affected.

Malignant neoplasm of the colon: 16,899

Describes a malignant growth of the colon. It is one of the most common types of cancer in the western industrialized countries and begins with hardly noticeable symptoms such as tiredness, weight loss and loss of appetite. At the latest when blood is found in the stool, a doctor should be consulted.

Stroke: 16,753

A circulatory disorder in the brain occurs due to an insufficient supply of the nerve cells, which die from insufficient oxygen and nutrients. While older people are more at risk than young people and men more often than women, children and under 30s can still have a stroke. The risk can be reduced by a healthy lifestyle.

Pneumonia: About 35,000

Pneumonia is the only infectious disease in Germany that is one of the most common causes of death and thus the most dangerous. This is triggered by bacteria that attack the alveoli and the connective tissue in between. Pneumonia is even the most common cause of death worldwide, killing almost four million people annually.

risk factors

The risk factors are varied and vary depending on the cause of death. In general, an unhealthy lifestyle plays a major role in all diseases. This means that regular smoking, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, high cholesterol and blood pressure and a lack of exercise have a negative impact on health. Stress that extends over a longer period of time and harmful environmental influences, such as heavy air pollution, can also increase the risk of illness and lead to death.

* As of 2014 / Source: Federal Statistical Office


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