Health

Stats show Capetonians live longer than Tshwane residents

Naledi Mailula

Statistics South Africa says mortality figures show Capetonians have a longer life span that Tshwane residents.

Youngsters from birth to 14 years old died mostly from intestinal infectious disease. (Reuters)

Capetonians have a longer life span than Tshwane residents, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) said on Tuesday.

Men in Cape Town live on average to 54, while their Tshwane counterparts live to 52.

Capetonian women live up to 64, while in Tshwane the age for women is 56.

The figures for the two metropolitan areas were based on Stats SA's report for mortality and causes of death for 2011.

They were released by statistician general Pali Lehohla in Tshwane.

While it seemed that Capetonians had a longer life span than those on the Highveld, the report revealed that 26 466 fatalities were reported in the Western Cape capital city in 2011.

Gauteng's capital showed a lower figure at 19 547.

Causes
In the causes of natural deaths, Tuberculosis (TB) led the statistics in both areas, with 8.2% in Tshwane and 6.6% in Cape Town. 

Deaths caused by diseases stemming from HIV were much higher in Cape Town, at 5.7%, while in Tshwane it was 2.6%.

Chronic lower respiratory diseases, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia were also high on the list of causes of natural death.

Mortality has, however, dropped nationally, with a total of 505 803 deaths registered in the country in 2011, said Lehohla.

"The number of deaths between 2010 and 2011 decreased by 7.7%, while during 2009 - 2010 and 2008-2009, the number of deaths decreased by 5.6% and 2.6% respectively," he said.

Lehohla said KwaZulu-Natal accounted for most fatalities, at 21%, while Gauteng claimed 20% of the deaths, and the Eastern Cape came in third at 14%.

A total of 45 990 of all fatalities were due to unnatural causes. Unnatural deaths include accidents, assaults, complications in medical and surgical operations, and suicides. The majority of all fatalities occurred outside healthcare facilities.

Leading causes of death
Lehohla said TB proved to be the leading cause of death in both males and females. The disease was responsible for 12% of deaths among males, and 10% in women. Influenza and pneumonia were also high on the list of leading causes of death. 

Youngsters from birth to 14 years old died mostly from intestinal infectious disease (14%), followed by influenza and pneumonia (10%), and respiratory and cardiovascular disorders (9%). Seven percent of 15- to 49-year-olds died due to Aids.

The same percentage died of influenza and pneumonia, while 18% died of TB. TB also proved to be the leading cause of death among 50- to 64-year-olds.

Six percent died of TB and cerebrovascular diseases. People aged 65 years and older died mostly of cerebrovascular diseases (18%), while 8% died of other forms of heart disease and 7% died of diabetes.

The report also revealed that at 15%, the occurrence of non-natural causes of death was highest in the 15 to 49-year-old age groups. Sixty-one percent of all non-natural deaths stemmed from accidental injuries, 11% from assault, 14% from undetermined intent, and 3% from medical and surgical complications, which included pregnancy and birth complications.

Declining mortality
Eleven percent of non-natural deaths also occurred due to transport accidents, while 1% occurred due to suicide. 

The leading causes of death among black and coloured people was TB, reported at 12% and 8% respectively.

Most fatalities among Indian people was caused by diabetes (13.5%), while fatalities among white people (11.3%) were mostly due to heart disease.

Female deaths peaked between the ages of 30 and 34 years, while male deaths peaked between 35 and 39.

"Mortality in general is declining ... particularly among females," said Lehohla.

He explained that the 2011 report was released only in 2014 as there had been a delay in obtaining all the information needed to complete it.

The 2012/2013 report, however, is to be released later this year. – Sapa

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