Almost 170,000 Australians died last year, with a public health expert linking four of the top five causes of death to smoking, and dementia-related deaths on the rise as the population ages.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data on the causes of death showed the number of deaths increased by 6.8 per cent to 169,301 in 2019.
Ischaemic heart disease, or coronary artery disease, remained the leading cause of death in Australia. In 2019, 18,244 people died from the condition, down from 21,721 in 2010.
Dementia was the second-highest cause of death in 2019 at 15,016 and is now the leading cause of death in women. Dementia-related deaths have jumped 66 per cent in the past 10 years, from 9003 in 2010.