According to the latest data from Eurostat, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer are the main causes of deaths in the EU. Slightly over 1.8 million people died from diseases of the circulatory system (mainly heart attacks and strokes), while 1.3 million died from cancer in 2016. These were the two main causes of deaths in the EU, responsible for 36% and 26% of all deaths respectively. The third main cause of death in the EU was diseases of the respiratory system, which killed 422 000 persons in 2016 (8% of all deaths in the EU).

A significant share of deaths in the EU were also due to accidents and other external causes of deaths (237 000 deaths, 5% of all deaths in the EU), diseases of the digestive system (222 000 deaths, 4%), mental and behavioural diseases such as dementia (220 000 deaths, 4%) and diseases of the nervous system including Alzheimer’s (219 000 deaths, 4%).

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