March 26, 2010

UK: Lower mortality rate resulting in older population in Northern Ireland

. ULSTER, Northern Ireland / Belfast Newsletter / Population / March 26, 2010 ULSTER's population is getting older, according to new figures. Last year saw the lowest death rate in the history of Northern Ireland, with a total of 14,400 deaths registered – marking a three per cent decrease from 2008. The findings were contained in provisional 2009 mortality figures released yesterday by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). Figures show that the fall in mortality rate witnessed over the past number of decades - last year there were 2,400 fewer deaths than in 1979 - has served to drive the ageing of the population. Over the last 30 years, the reduction in the number of deaths has occurred alongside the population increasing in size and an older age structure. Over half of all deaths last year were caused by three main diseases: cancer (3,900 deaths), ischaemic heart disease (2,300 deaths) and stroke (1,200 deaths). However, our ageing population has also resulted in changes in causes of death. Over the last 10 years, there has been a 40 per cent increase in deaths due to Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. In 2009, there were 710 deaths due to Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. An NISRA spokesperson said: "Last year we witnessed the lowest death rate ever recorded in Northern Ireland. Mortality rates today are nearly half of those seen 30 years ago. "Cancer continues to be the most common cause of death. However, as the population ages we are observing more deaths of the very elderly with increasing numbers caused by Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia." [rc] © 2010 Johnston Press Digital Publishing Related news report Northern Ireland Highlights Three Percent Decrease In Mortality Rates