• Trends in national mortality rates •  

Graphs showing time trends in mortality rates

Female category-specific mortality at age 70-79 years in

the United Kingdom: 1950-2007

Graph showing category-specific mortality at age 70-79 years in the UK, 1950-2007.

Comment: UK female mortality in early old age fell by 46% between 1967 and 2007. This corresponds to an absolute decline of 2275 yearly deaths per 100 000 men in early old age, some 45% of which is attributable to a decrease in coronary heart disease, 33% to a decrease in stroke, and 17% to all other vascular diseases combined; in other words, nearly all (95%) of the decline is attributable to a decrease in vascular mortality. Despite a 6% decrease in breast cancer mortality, overall cancer mortality increased by 12% over this period, chiefly because of a tripling in lung cancer mortality. Respiratory mortality increased by 54%, mostly because of an increase in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Mortality from liver cirrhosis nearly doubled, though by 2007 it was still a relatively uncommon cause of death among women of this age.

Categories: For descriptions of what the categories mean, and examples of the causes of death they include, see the Information about Causes of Death page.

Method: Mortality rates calculated using data from the World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Division, then standardised for age (by taking unweighted averages of component rates) and smoothed (as weighted 3-year moving averages). For details, see the Info page.

Caution: Trends can reflect not only changes in disease occurrence or treatment, but also changes in how a cause of death is defined or coded.

WHO mortality rates for particular countries, ages and causes of death