Let’s face it, there’s a lot of debate going on in Australia and it involves–of all topics–death. While many believe that coronary heart disease is still the number one cause of death in the country, cancer seems to already be taking the lead.
The fact of the matter is that both are the top causes of death. While it has been established for the longest time that heart disease ruled the charts when talking about the leading causes of death, a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report showed that cancer is the top dog.
Without a doubt, however, one single factor has proved itself as a significant contributor to these diseases. That factor everyone must look into is smoking.
Death by the Numbers
In 2012, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, coronary heart disease ranked as the top underlying cause of death in Australia. For the longest time it was heart disease that led many to take their final breath.
Based on the same report, cerebrovascular diseases closely followed as the second leading cause, while dementia and Alzheimer disease ranked third on the list.
Those figures have changed. In 2014, the WHO reported that cancer became the biggest killer in Australia. They detailed that over 40,000 Australians in 2012 died from cancer. While the reports’ would seem to run counter to each other, one thing is certain: smoking is a contributing factor in these diseases.
Reading the signs
Dr. Rob Grenfell, Heart Foundation national director, said, “As a group of diseases, cancers and cardiovascular diseases are attributable to 60 per cent of the country’s deaths and both are largely preventable.” Not surprisingly, for both diseases smoking is one common risk factor, added the health expert.
As they say, “Death is the only certainty in life”. Everyone should prepare for this eventuality, notes Centenary Memorial Gardens.
Even if being buried in an impressive centenary cemetery is would be considered by many as a fitting end, any person would surely want to postpone it as long as possible. Heeding what the doctors have been telling us all along would be a good start: No smoking!