Secular trend of the leading causes of death in China from 2003 to 2013
Background: To analyze the epidemiological characteristics and secular trends of the leading causes of death in China.
Methods: Data on the leading causes of death was collected from the Statistical Yearbook of China. Data for 11 years, from 2003 to 2013, was analyzed by regression analysis and chi-square test.
Results: The top 3 causes of death from 2009 to 2013 were cancer, cerebrovascular disease, and cardiopathy, with the role of cardiopathy increasing over time (P<0.01). The proportion of deaths related to cardio-cerebrovascular diseases in urban and rural areas increased to 41.9% and 44.8%, respectively, in 2013, and was significantly higher than that for cancer, 25.5% and 22.4% (both P<0.01). Injury and poisoning in urban or rural areas represented the fifth leading cause of death. In 2006, endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases were the sixth main cause of death, with 3.3% in urban areas. The role of genito-urinary,
respiratory, and digestive system diseases in urban areas and genito-urinary system diseases in rural areas decreased during this period (all P<0.05).
Conclusion: Cancer, cerebrovascular disease, and cardiopathy accounted for more than 67% of all deaths from 2007 to 2013 in China, and significantly increased in proportion from 2003 to 2013.
Keywords: Causes of death; China; cancer; cardiovascular disease