[source: Eurostat] More than 670 000 persons died in the EU from respiratory diseases Men more affected In the European Union (EU) in 2012, diseases of the respiratory system, including lung cancer, were the cause of death for 671 900 persons, 13% of all deaths.
Men (398 400 deaths due to respiratory diseases) were more affected than women (273 600). Among the various diseases of the respiratory system, lung cancer (leading to the deaths of 268 600 persons, or 40% of all deaths due to respiratory diseases), bronchitis and other chronic lower respiratory diseases (161 500 deaths, or 24%) and pneumonia (127 400 deaths, or 19%) were particularly prominent in the EU as causes of deaths. This information on causes of death in the EU comes from a report published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Share of deaths due to respiratory diseases highest in the United Kingdom The highest share of deaths from diseases of the respiratory system including lung cancer was recorded in 2012 in the United Kingdom (20.3%), followed by Denmark (18.4%), Ireland (18.2%), the Netherlands (17.8%) and Spain (17.1%). In contrast, respiratory diseases accounted for less than 8% of all causes of death in Latvia (5.8%), Lithuania (6.4%), Bulgaria (7.0%) and Estonia (7.4%). In the EU, deaths due to respiratory diseases represented 13.4% of all deaths. Looking at the main categories of respiratory diseases leading to death, lung cancer comes first in every EU Member State except Greece and Portugal. More than half of deaths from diseases of the respiratory system are due to lung cancer in Estonia (60.4%), Latvia (58.0%), Hungary (56.7%), Croatia (56.4%), Poland (52.9%), Lithuania (52.0%) and Finland (51.7%). Most of these Member States also recorded the highest shares of deaths from asthma. Pneumonia accounted for a large proportion of deaths due to respiratory diseases in Portugal (38.6%), Slovakia (31.5%) and Slovenia (29.3%), while it accounted for less than 10% of deaths from respiratory diseases in Hungary (5.0%), Greece (5.3%), Croatia and Finland (both 6.6%).
The risk of dying from a disease of the respiratory system was higher for men than for women in all EU Member States, except Denmark. In particular, this risk was at least twice as high for men as for women in Latvia (respiratory diseases accounted for 9.2% of all causes of deaths for men, compared with 2.8% for women, meaning that men were 3.3 times more likely than women to die from respiratory diseases), Lithuania (3.0 times), Estonia (2.7 times), Bulgaria (2.3 times), Croatia (2.2 times) and Romania (2.1 times). At EU level, deaths from respiratory diseases accounted for 16.0% of all causes of deaths for men, and for 10.8% for women. Across Member States, 1 death out of 5 among the male population was from respiratory diseases in Spain (21.5%), the United Kingdom (20.9%) and the Netherlands (20.4%).
Methods and definitions:
The respiratory system is a series of organs that are responsible for the (vital) breathing in of oxygen from the air whilst exhaling carbon dioxide from the body. The lungs are the primary organ of this system, which also includes the nasal passage, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi and bronchioles. Data on deaths due to diseases of the respiratory system presented in this news release include deaths from respiratory diseases (ICD code J) and deaths from lung cancer (ICD code C33-C34). Eurostat collects statistics on the causes of death according to a list of 86 different causes of death. For more information Eurostat, Statistics Explained article “Causes of death statistics”, available on the Eurostat website.