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New report tracks trends and causes of death

Monday, 4 March 2019

A landmark report giving an overview of mortality rates and causes of deaths in the Isle of Man over a 12 year period (2006 – 2017) has been published.

The Mortality Report 2017 shows there were 836 deaths registered in the Island in 2017, 409 men and 427 women. Life expectancy at birth stood at 79.4 years for men and 83 for women, almost the same as in England. Cancer and diseases of the circulatory system were the two most common causes of death, accounting for 57% of all deaths during the year. The figures reveal that 40.8% of all deaths were at home.

The document is the first of its kind to capture a range of data showing trends and causes of death over more than a decade, and will be updated annually. The Isle of Man benchmarks itself against official mortality figures for England and Wales, and Jersey.

The report tracks the rise in deaths among those living beyond at the age of 90, as people live longer and the size of the older population grows. Figures for life expectancy at older ages show that at 65, men can expect to live another 19.2 years and women for 21 further years, similar to figures for England. 

Cancer is still the primary cause of deaths in the Island but the number of cases per year is levelling out. However, the data shows that dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease is now a significant cause of death - in 2017 there were 104 deaths from this cause, representing 12.4% of all deaths registered. Significantly more women than men died from dementia and Alzheimer’s, most in the over-80 age group.

The report uses a measure known as age standardised mortality rates (ASMR) which takes into account the population size and age range, and is useful for making comparisons with other jurisdictions and regions.

ASMRs produced for English regions by the Office for National Statistics have been used to see which areas we most ‘look’ like. The Isle of Man’s mortality rates most closely reflect those in areas classified as ‘Country Living’ or ‘Prosperous Towns’, mainly in the East and West Midlands.     

Director of Public Health Dr Henrietta Ewart said:

‘The data we’ve collected gives more than a snapshot - by looking back over 12 years, we can clearly see trends. This is crucial information for planning for our population’s needs, and will help guide decisions about how we spend public money on health improvement projects.

She added:

‘We’ve identified the 10 top causes of deaths among males and females, thus we know where the challenges lie in terms of preventing ill health - where that is possible - and also where demand for treatments will grow, and more widely, where research must continue. The report provides data that will be useful for planning services and we hope it will also be of interest to a wider audience.’ 

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