In Québec, the decline in most causes of death contribute to the increase in life expectancy

Québec, March 29, 2017. – During the first decade of the twenty-first century, mortality dropped for the vast majority of the causes of death in Québec. The decline in deaths due to cardiovascular disease was particularly significant, accounting for the greatest gains in life expectancy. Between 2000–2002 and 2010–2012, men’s life expectancy rose by 38 months to nearly 80 years, with 16 months of this increase being attributed to the drop in cardiovascular disease alone. Women’s life expectancy rose by 23 months to 84 years, with 14 months accounting for a decline in cardiovascular disease mortality. These observations were drawn from an article called “L’évolution récente des causes de décès au Québec: quel effet sur l’espérance de vie?” published today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

This analysis, which examines trends after eliminating the effect of population aging, reveals that the drop in mortality caused by tumours and external causes (accidents, suicide, etc.) also contributed to the significant rise in life expectancy, in particular among men. For women, the gains were reduced by the increase in lung cancer, which had, however, stopped rising since approximately 2007. As for other tumours, gains comparable to those for men had been reached. It was also noted that for most of these causes, including lung cancer, mortality was lower among women than among men.

Very few causes of death were on the rise in Québec. Like elsewhere in North America, accidental intoxication (overdose) was among their number and had a slightly negative impact on life expectancy for the period studied.


The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyzes and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is responsible for carrying out all statistical surveys of general interest. The relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.

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