Respiratory diseases were the cause of 671,900 deaths in the EU in 2012, according to the latest statistics from Eurostat and released on Thursday. Respiratory diseases include lung cancer, bronchitis and pneumonia, but also asthma and flu. These diseases were responsible for 13% of all deaths in the EU in 2012.
In Belgium in 2012, 17,777 people died of some form of respiratory disease or lung cancer, a figure which represents 16.3% of deaths. This percentage is higher than the proportion observed in the EU. Of the 17,777 deaths, 59.6% were men, a trend that is observed in most European countries.
This is due “mainly to the higher number of male deaths from lung cancer,” lung cancer being the leading cause of death (40%) from respiratory disease, followed by bronchitis and other chronic lower respiratory tract conditions (24%).
The UK reported the highest percentage of deaths from respiratory diseases, including lung cancer, in 2012 (20.3%), followed by Denmark (18.4%), Ireland (18.2% ), the Netherlands (17.8%) and Spain (17.1%). “However, respiratory diseases accounted for less than 8% of all causes of death in Latvia (5.8%), Lithuania (6.4%), Bulgaria (7.0%) and Estonia (7.4%).