China / Society

Commission releases premature death data for Beijing

By Yang Wanli (China Daily) Updated: 2016-06-30 08:08

Four chronic diseases - cancer, cardiovascular, diabetes and chronic respiratory - topped the causes for premature deaths in Beijing, according to a report released by the Beijing Health and Family Planning Commission on Wednesday.

It was the first time a health department has released the premature mortality rate, defined as someone who dies before the age of 70.

"If a person dies at 40, he or she is considered to have lost 30 potential years of life," said Zheng Xiaopeng, an official at the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The premature mortality rate is a measure that gives more weight to the death of younger people. And it could be a guide to the health department to take a preventive action," he said.

Of the four causes of premature death, cancer was listed at No 1. It contributed to 27.4 percent of all deaths in Beijing last year - an increase by 4.3 percent over 2014.

Lung, colorectal and liver cancer were the top three cancers that led to death in Beijing last year, the report said.

"What calls for special attention is that thyroid cancer saw significant growth among women in Beijing," said Wang Ning, deputy director of Beijing Cancer Treatment and Prevention Research Office.

From 2005 to 2014, thyroid cancer among women in Beijing climbed from about 2.35 to 15 of 100,000 people, according to the report.

In 2012, the World Health Organization set a target for member states to reduce premature deaths from chronic diseases by 25 percent by 2025.

Chronic disease is threatening more Chinese. The number of Chinese with diabetes is estimated at 110 million, according to a report by the WHO released in April.

In Beijing, 2 out of 10 children under 18 years old are overweight or obese.

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