Taipei, June 15 (CNA) Six obesity-related diseases were rankedamong the 10 leading causes of death in Taiwan in 2010, with cancerremaining the top killer for the 29th consecutive year, according toa report released Wednesday by the Department of Health (DOH).
Cancer was responsible for 28.4 percent of the total number ofdeaths recorded last year, followed by heart disease (10.8 percent),cerebrovascular disease (7.0 percent) , pneumonia (6.2 percent) anddiabetes (5.7 percent), the report shows.
Rounding out the top 10 list were accidents (4.6 percent) ,chronic lower respiratory tract disease (3.6 percent), chronic liverdisease (3.4 percent), hypertension (2.9 percent) and kidney disease(2.8 percent).
A total of 144,709 people died last year, which translates intoan average of one death every 3 minutes and 38 seconds, slightlylower than the 3 minutes and 42 seconds recorded in 2009, the reportshows.
The average life expectancy was 76.2 years among men and 82.7years among women.
In 2010, there was one death from cancer every 12 minutes and 48seconds on average, shorter than the 13 minutes and 10 secondsrecorded for the previous year.
Meanwhile, an average of one person died from heart disease every33 minutes and 32 seconds, and from cerebrovascular disease every 51minutes and 52 seconds.
According to Huang Hsu-ming, the chief statistician of the DOH,the death rates for each of the top 10 causes dropped in 2010 withthe exception of pneumonia and hypertension, which rose 1.2 percentand 6.1 percent, respectively.
The greatest decrease was seen in accidental death, which wasdown 11.9 percent, Huang said.
Moreover, he went on, suicide was not among the top 10 killers,for the first time in 13 years.
Kong Hsien-lan, deputy head of the Bureau of Health Promotion,pointed out that six of the top 10 killers -- cancer, heart disease,cerebrovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease --are linked to obesity.
It has been found that losing body weight can lower bloodpressure, Kong noted, adding that if daily salt intake is controlled,blood pressure can also be reduced.
(By Chen Li-ting and Y.F. Low)