At this time of year, many of us are preparing for the festive season by shopping up a storm, designing mouth-watering Christmas lunch menus or making travel plans to see (or not to see) loved ones over the end of year break. I like to use the end of year break to re-evaluate things and take stock of the year that was.
Part of my routine at this end of the year has been to focus on my health and wellbeing, and I thought it would be interesting to look at what the leading causes of death are in this country, as a helpful guide to what preventative steps I can take now, to stay away from the things on the list below.
So first….here is THE LIST of the biggest killers in Australia in 2016
(the 2017 list wasn’t readily available just yet) –
|Cause of death||no.||Rank||no.||Rank||no.||Rank||Median Age (2016) years|
|Ischaemic heart diseases||22,956||1||21,526||1||19,077||1||85.1|
|Dementia, including Alzheimer disease||7,318||4||9,864||3||13,126||2||88.8|
|Malignant neoplasm of trachea, bronchus and lung||7,635||3||8,117||4||8,410||4||74.0|
|Chronic lower respiratory diseases||5,787||5||6,565||5||8,048||5||81.7|
|Malignant neoplasm of colon, sigmoid, rectum and anus||4,954||6||5,206||6||5,462||6||77.0|
|Malignant neoplasms of lymphoid, haematopoietic and related tissue||3,608||8||3,979||8||4,372||8||77.2|
|Heart failure and complications and ill-defined heart disease||3,438||9||3,486||9||3,379||9||88.5|
|Diseases of the urinary system||3,237||10||3,384||10||3,352||10||87.2|
|Influenza and pneumonia||2,634||13||2,487||13||3,334||11||88.8|
|Malignant neoplasm of prostate||2,939||11||3,294||11||3,248||12||82.0|
|Malignant neoplasms of breast||2,709||12||2,938||12||3,004||13||70.5|
|Malignant neoplasm of pancreas||2,252||14||2,416||14||2,911||14||75.0|
|Intentional self-harm [suicide]||2,227||15||2,392||15||2,862||15||43.3|
|Melanoma and other malignant neoplasms of skin||1,728||16||2,087||16||1,960||19||77.2|
|Malignant neoplasm of liver and intrahepatic bile ducts||1,109||26||1,423||23||1,864||20||71.3|
Based on this information here are my Top 5 lessons for a healthier 2018.
1 – Cut the saturated fat
With heart and heart related conditions topping the list consistently, it seems pretty clear that simple measures of swapping out the chips, processed meats and margarine from the regular diet and practicing moderation over the holiday could be a real lifesaver (or life prolonger)
2 – Do more puzzles
Dementia and Alzheimer’s make a close 2nd this year and is on the rise! Brain plasticity and activity can play a role in the development of these conditions and so I will be implementing a daily brain workout to go with my yoga classes in the New Year.
3 – Drink more water
My office has been circulating hilarious “drink more water” memes over the last few months as we all do our best to keep adequately hydrated each day. This has been a fun way to remind ourselves to take a few extra sips and improve our skin, hair, energy, concentration, blood pressure….you name it, being properly hydrated helps !!!!
4 – Wash hands thoroughly and regularly
Did anyone else notice there was A LOT of nasty Influenza, colds and other nasty infectious diseases floating around this year? A good friend of mine (former nurse) gloats of his pristine ‘never had gastroenteritis bug ‘ record and associates his success in avoiding this to proper hand washing protocols. So simple, but so often NOT done correctly or for long enough, if at all (eek!).
5 – Be more aware of my mental health (and others)
So aside from the cancers and conditions commonly associated with the aging process, coming in at number 15/20, but with a concerning median age, at just 43.3, is intentional self harm (suicide). I found this one of the most alarming entries. Lawyers are commonly cited as one of the professions with the highest rates of depression, second only to dentists. Taking time to check in with your own mental health is the first step. The second is to seek help if you are concerned. The third is to have an awareness of the people around you and to be confident in discussing mental health issues with friends, family and colleagues.
Notable entries also go to lung cancer (down this year to place at no. 4, accidental falls (a huge jump up 5 spots from 2007, to place at no. 16) and skin cancer which has dropped down a few places to place at no. 19)
On that note, we wish everyone a safe and prosperous end to 2017. Happy Holidays!!
Turner Freeman Lawyers
This blog contains general information and is not to be considered as legal advice specific to your circumstances.