SEOUL, Sept. 27 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of Koreans who succumbed to cancer last year was found to be a record high, but compared to other advanced nations, the mortality rate from cancer remained low.
Meanwhile, the mortality rate of South Koreans, in general, was low among other leading nations, but deaths from pneumonia, suicide and traffic accidents were comparatively high.
According to Statistics Korea and the OECD, the number of cancer deaths (78,863) accounted for 27.6 percent of all deaths in the nation (287,534).
This means that 1 out of 4 people died of cancer, the highest level since officials started recording statistics on cancer deaths in 1983.
But the rate of cancer mortality in South Korea was found to be extremely low when compared to other OECD member states.
The cancer mortality rate tabulated by the OECD for South Korea was 160.1 deaths per 10,000 people.
Although the cancer rates for different nations were calculated in different years, a compilation of the data found that only Mexico had lower cancer mortality rates of all the 36 nations that were surveyed, with 114.7 deaths per 10,000 in 2017.
The cancer mortality rate in Hungary was the highest with 278.8 deaths per 10,000 in 2016, which was 1.74 times the rate in South Korea.
Despite the low cancer mortality rate, deaths from pneumonia, suicide and traffic accidents remained very high.
The mortality rate resulting from pneumonia grew from 34.8 deaths per 10,000 in 2013 to nearly 50 last year.
South Korea’s suicide rate was the second highest amongst OECD member countries after Lithuania at 23 deaths per 10,000.
Despite the nation’s suicide rate falling steadily over the years from 28.7 deaths per 10,000 in 2013 to 23 this year, the country’s suicide rate remained very high compared to other advanced nations.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s mortality rate from traffic accidents was seventh amongst OECD nations with 9.6 deaths per 10,000 persons, but the numbers have been declining continuously with traffic accident deaths coming down to the single digits for the first time ever last year.
H. S. Seo (firstname.lastname@example.org)