Israel Leads West in Diabetes, Kidney Disease Deaths

New health ministry report on death trends in 2008 find Israeli mortality rataes for diabetes and kidney disease higher than U.S. and Europe.

Compared to the United States and Europe, Israel ranks first in mortality rates for diabetes, kidney disease and sepsis, says a new Health Ministry report.

Detailing cause of death trends here in 2008, the report found that compared to Europe and the United States, Israel had the highest mortality rate for diabetes, 33.2 cases for every 100,000 people, far above the 19.7 figure in the U.S.; 15.1 in Germany; 10.2 in France; and 6.4 in the United Kingdom.

Israel also leads the statistics for deaths due to kidney disease, with as many as 18.3 deaths per 100,000 people, compared to 11.7 in the United States; 7.1 in Germany; 5.165 in France; and 3.5 in the UK.

Israel also led the figures in deaths recorded due to sepis, the body's inflammatory response to infection. On this scale, Israel had 13.9 deaths per 100,000 people, followed by the United States, 9.2. Far behind in this kind of death were Germany with 4.8; France with 4; and the UK, 2.7. The figure per 100,000 people for Hungary stood at 0.5.

In April, the ministry's national unit for prevention of infection in medical institutions reported that 3,700 patients in Israeli hospitals were diagnosed with sepsis after developing antibiotic-resistant blood infections, and 1,500 of them died.

Israel has also a high rate of deaths from high blood pressure: Nine die in every 100,000, compared to 5.8 in the U.S.; 5.7 in Germany; 4 in France; and 1.5 in the UK. However, there are three countries that report a higher rate of high blood pressure deaths than Israel. The figure for the Czech Republic was 9.4; Hungary had 13 deaths per 100,000: and Romania showed a very large divergence - 45 such deaths per 100,000.

By way of contrast, diseases that are commonly known as the main causes of death - cancer and heart disease - show significantly lower figures here than in the West. Israel is third from last on this list in terms of dying from cancer, 147.4 deaths per 100,000 people. At the bottom of the list is Finland, which has 137 deaths per 100,000.

Israel, in fact, scores lower on cancer deaths than most other countries, including the United States with 160.9; Germany with 165; France with 168.2; and the United Kingdom, 175.9.

Hungary has 241.7 cancer deaths per 100,000 people.

As for deaths from heart disease, Israel is third from last on the list, with 92.4 dying in every 100,000 people. The lowest on the scale is France with 84.9. But most countries stand above Israel, including the UK with 117.4, the U.S. with 154.1; and Germany with 175.2.

According to the Health Ministry report, the leading causes of death in Israel from 2006 to 2008, were cancer, which caused a quarter of the deaths, and heart disease, which caused a fifth. The other top causes were diabetes, stroke and kidney disease. These were followed, for men, by accidents, chronic lower respiratory system illnesses, pneumonia and flu, sepsis, pneumonia caused by inhalation of fluids or solid objects, liver disease, congenital defects, death close to birth, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and murder. Among women, the other top causes of death were sepsis, chronic lower respiratory system illnesses, accidents, pneumonia and flu, high blood pressure, Alzheimer's, congenital defects, Parkinson's, death close to birth, anemia, liver disease and suicide.