Dementia remains the biggest cause of death in the Netherlands but the number of people dying after a fall has risen 16% in the past year, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday.
One in 10 deaths last year was due to dementia, with twice as many women dying of the disease than men, the CBS said.
Lung cancer was number two on the list, accounting for over 10,000 deaths, followed by a stroke, heart failure and COPD. Strokes were the second biggest cause of death among women.
The sharpest increase – 16% – was among people dying after a fall. In total, 3,300 people died after suffering complications from a fall.
Geriatric medicine specialist Christiaan Oudshoorn told the AD that most falls happen at home and more can be done to stop them. ‘The elderly are living at home longer and measures need to be taken [to enable this]. This is something we often forget,’ he said.
These include better lighting, low thresholds and a chair lift to go up stairs, he said.
In addition, the elderly are remaining active longer, he said. ‘They play tennis, ride e-bikes and travel. This is all well and good, but such activities at an advanced age also carry risks,’ he said.
The CBS said the reason more women die of dementia and after a fall than men may be due to the fact that they tend to live longer.
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