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The methodology used in this publication to select the leading causes of death was developed by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services1.

  • In 2006, the 10 leading causes of death in Canada were the same as the previous year, accounting for 77% of all deaths, following a decreasing trend since the year 2000, when it was 80%.
  • Cancer, heart disease and stroke, the three leading causes of death, also decreased their proportional representation from 61% of all deaths in 2000 to 58% in 2006.
  • The relative burden of the 10 leading causes of death was higher for males compared to females. In 2006, the relative burden of the 10 leading causes of male deaths was 79% compared to 76% for female deaths.


1. Heron, M. Deaths: Leading Causes of Death for 2004. National Vital Statistics Reports (National Center for Health Statistics) 2007; 56 (5).