Diseases of the circulatory system continued to be the leading cause of death in Portugal, accounting for 29.8% of deaths recorded in 2015, 0.5% more than in the previous year. As regards this group of diseases, strokes caused 10.8% of total deaths in Portugal (11,778), while ischaemic heart diseases caused 6.7% of deaths, and acute myocardial infarctions caused 4.0%.
In the year under review, and similarly to previous ones, malignant neoplasms were the second cause of death in the country, with 24.5% of deaths, which corresponds to an increase of 1.6% over 2014. Among malignant neoplasms, deaths were mainly caused by malignant neoplasm of trachea, bronchus and lung, representing 3.7% of deaths in the country, and by malignant neoplasm of colon, rectum and anus, with 3.5% of deaths.
Although malignant neoplasms were at the origin of fewer deaths than diseases of the circulatory system, their impact is far greater in terms of potential years of life lost: in 2015, 111,820 potential years of life have been lost due to malignant neoplams, more than the double of potential years of life lost due to diseases of the circulatory system.
In 2015, deaths due to diseases of the respiratory system increased by 10.7% vis-à-vis 2014, and those caused by diabetes mellitus increased by 3.1%.