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Heart disease tops death chart, with dementia on rise

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in Australia, according to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In 2015, 19,777 deaths were due to heart disease, with the average age 85.1.

The figure is down from 23,132 in 2006 and 21,721 in 2010.

The number of dementia deaths has risen dramatically to occupy second spot. In 2015 there were 12,625 deaths, compared with 6550 in 2006 and 9003 in 2010.

The bureau says dementia numbers are higher than in other high-income countries, based on World Health Organisation data. It ranks fourth in high-income nations worldwide.

Diabetes is another leading cause of death on the rise.

In 2006 there were 3669 deaths, ranking the disease eighth. By 2010 the number was 3948, ranking it seventh, and in 2015 it was 4662, placing it sixth.

The number of lung cancer deaths was 8466 in 2015, down on previous years.

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