Heart disease was the number one killer of Australians last year.
COVID-19 was the “third leading cause of death in 2022,” data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows.
Heart disease was the number one cause of death last year, followed by dementia, COVID-19, stroke, and lung cancer.
ABS head of mortality statistics, Lauren Moran, said this is the “first time an infectious disease has appeared in the top five leading causes since 1970 when influenza and pneumonia was ranked fifth.”
“The top five causes of death in 2022 were ischaemic heart disease, dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease), COVID-19, cerebrovascular diseases (strokes), and lung cancer, which when combined, accounted for more than a third of all deaths,” Ms. Moran said.
Among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, heart disease, diabetes, chronic lung disease, lung cancer, and suicide are featured in the top five death causes. COVID-19 was listed at number nine among the Indigenous community.
Sadly, overall 3,249 people died from suicide in 2022 with a medium age of 45.6.
This meant suicide was the number one cause of “premature death” last year.
With or From COVID-19?
In a recent opinion piece for The Epoch Times, former Liberal Party minister and senator, Eric Abetz, said there needed to be an improvement in how COVID-19 deaths were reported.
“How about a comprehensive study advising the people of Australia on how many people died with COVID-19 as opposed to from COVID-19? A material and qualitative difference would have allayed a lot of community fear,” Mr. Abetz wrote.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has recently announced a COVID-19 inquiry.
The inquiry will look into the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and “make recommendations to improve response measures in the event of future pandemics.”
However, the inquiry does not include “actions taken unilaterally by state and territory governments.”
This is despite state governments being largely responsible for mandates and lockdowns in Australia.
Human Rights Commissioner Lorraine Finlay questioned the inquiry’s focus.
“Lockdowns, border closures, school closures, mask mandates, and many other aspects were the domain of state and territory governments and to not examine these as part of the inquiry means it will be harder for us to improve our response for future pandemics,” she said.
“The lack of a stated focus on how Australia’s COVID response impacted on the human rights of people is also concerning.”