Deaths from cardiovascular or circulatory system diseases once again dominated the list of the main causes of death in Turkey. Figures released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) on Wednesday for 2019, show 36.8% of deaths stemmed from circulatory system diseases.
Overall, 435,941 people died in Turkey last year, a visible increase compared with 421,000 in 2018.
Along with cardiovascular diseases, neoplasms or cancer types killed most people in the country. Neoplasms constituted the cause of 18.4% of deaths and they were followed by respiratory system diseases.
Circulatory system diseases formed the highest portion of the causes of deaths in Aydın, a western city where the proportion was 47.2%, followed by Denizli, another western city. Deaths from those diseases were lowest in the southeastern province of Hakkari and eastern province of Van. In Hakkari, it made up only 24.5% of causes of death.
Deaths from cancer dominated the list of causes of deaths in Istanbul, Turkey’s most crowded city and financial hub. Cancer or neoplasms constituted 22.2% of the causes of deaths in the city in 2019. Only three cities west of Istanbul followed it with the highest rate of cancer in the causes of death. Cancer-related deaths were lowest in the southeast. The provinces of Şanlıurfa, Hakkari and Şırnak shared the lowest rate at 10.7%.
Experts say the increase in the rate of cardiovascular diseases is tied to the country's rapidly aging population, and those diseases will be more prevalent in the near future due to an increase in life expectancy and cases of diabetes.
Quitting smoking, curbing alcohol consumption, pursuing more physical activity and consuming more fruits and vegetables are vital to preventing circulatory system diseases.
TurkStat figures also show the crude death rate or the number of deaths per thousand persons was 5.3 per 1,000 in 2009. The highest crude death rate was in the northern province of Kastamonu at 9.9. Turkey is behind European Union countries in terms of the crude death rate. In Europe, it was 10.3 per thousand.