29 Jun, 2024 @ 09:00
1 min read

Cancer becomes leading cause of death in Spain for first time according to 2023 mortality figures

Cancer is leading cause of death in Spain

CANCER has become the leading cause of death in Spain for the first time, according to 2023 mortality figures compiled by the National Institute of Statistics.

Last year, 115,013 people died from some kind of tumour- representing 26.55% of all deaths.

Until then, it had been diseases of the circulatory system that had the highest mortality rate, but those fell by 5.3%.


Lung cancers were the most prominent with 22,717 deaths, followed by colon cancer, with 10,891 fatalities- 2.3% fewer than in 2022.

There were a total of 433,163 deaths in Spain in 2023, 31,254(6.7%) less than the previous year.

Among men, ischemic heart disease was a leading cause of death (17,038), while among women it was dementia(12,817).

The National Institute of Statistics says the diseases that increased the most were respiratory diseases.

Deaths from pneumonia went up by 17.1% and chronic lower respiratory diseases by 2.6%.

Strokes accounted for 23,173 deaths- 6.1% lower than in 2022.

The figures show that 95.9% of the deaths registered last year were down to natural causes.

Another change compared to previous years is that accidental falls appear as the main cause of external death, surpassing suicides for the first time.

Nevertheless, suicides average nearly 11 per day in Spain with 2,962 cases and a larger prominence among males.

Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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