Cancer leading cause of mortality in 2023

18 June, 2024

Courtesy of ICRT


The Ministry of Health and Welfare reported a decline in Taiwan’s Covid-19 deaths, dropping from the third to the sixth leading cause of death last year.


The CDC predicts Covid-19 may fall out of the top 15 causes of death this year.


Despite an ageing population, total deaths in 2023 decreased by over 2,800 compared to the previous year, largely due to fewer Covid-19 fatalities.


CDC spokesperson Tseng Shu-hui (曾淑慧) attributes the decline to fewer infections and successful vaccination and antiviral treatments. However, Tseng warns of the ongoing threat, noting a 25% rise in recent local cases, marking the start of Taiwan's sixth Omicron wave.


New subvariants JN.1, KP.2, and KP.3 are more transmissible but not necessarily more severe. The XBB.1.5 vaccine remains effective, and those unvaccinated are urged to get their shots promptly.

The MOHW says cancer remained the number one cause of death in Taiwan in 2023 for the 42nd consecutive year, with lung, liver and colon cancer as the most common types of the disease.


The health ministry says more than 53,000 people died of cancer last year, a figure that accounted for nearly 26% of just over 205,500 deaths. Health officials say those statistics mean a person died of cancer every nine minutes and 53 seconds in 2023.


Taiwan's cancer mortality rate also rose by 2.2% year-on-year to reach 227.6 people per 100,000 last year. Around 87% of those who died from cancer were over the age of 55.


The other leading causes of death last year were heart disease, pneumonia and cerebrovascular diseases like stroke, and diabetes.

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