SA's mortality rate declining

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pretoria - Mortality in South Africa continues to decline; however, tuberculosis continues to rank as the number one leading cause of death in the country, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) said on Thursday.

The Mortality and Causes of Death in Africa 2010: Findings from Death Notifications report is based on information on mortality and causes of deaths from the country’s civil registration system.  The data used is drawn from death notification forms that are completed when deaths are registered at the Department of Home Affairs.

The report showed that mortality in the country continued to decline, with a total 543 856 deaths having occurred in 2010. This showed a 6.2% decline from deaths that occurred in 2009.

“Tuberculosis maintained its rank as the number one leading cause of death in South Africa, accounting for about 12% of deaths that occurred in 2010.

“While the number of deaths due to multidrug-resistant tuberculosis decreased between 2009 and 2010, there was an increase in deaths associated with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis,” said Stats SA.

Tuberculosis was the leading cause of death in all provinces, except the Free State and Limpopo.

Other contributors to the number of deaths in 2010 were influenza, pneumonia, intestinal infectious diseases, other forms of heart disease, cerebrovascular diseases and diabetes.  HIV was the seventh leading cause of death, contributing 3.4% of all deaths that occurred in 2010.

The publication found that the highest number deaths occurred among those aged between 30 and 39 years, and were predominantly among men. Most deaths took place in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, and were among the black African population group.

The majority of those who died in 2010 did so in their home provinces.

The data showed that nearly 10% of deaths were due to non-natural causes, mainly affecting the 15 to 19 age group. 

“Furthermore, the number of male deaths due to non-natural causes was more than three times the number of female deaths due to non-natural causes. Most non-natural causes resulted from other external causes of accidental injury.”

According to the report, transport accidents and assault contributed about 10% of all non-natural causes of death. -

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