Cancer caused 158.2 deaths per 100,000 people in 2019, up 2.5 per cent from the previous year, according to Statistics Korea.
The death rate from lung cancer was 36.2 per 100,000, the highest among the cancer-caused deaths, followed by liver cancer with 20.6, colorectal cancer with 17.5, gastric cancer with 14.9 and pancreatic cancer with 12.5 each.
The second-highest cause of death was cardiac disorder, which caused 60.4 deaths per 100,000 people in 2019.
The third-highest was pneumonia with the death rate of 45.1 per 100,000.
On the top 10 list of causes of death were cerebrovascular disease with 42.0 deaths per 100,000, diabetes with 15.8, Alzheimer’s disease with 13.1 and liver disease with 12.7.
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Others are chronic lower respiratory disease with 12.0 and hypertensive disorder with 11.0 respectively.
Suicide ranked fifth with the death rate of 26.9 per 100,000 in 2019, continuing to rise for two straight years.
It was much higher than 11.3 on average among 36 members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Among those aged between 10 and 39, suicide was the top cause of death in 2019.