Navigation and service

Mortality and Causes of Death

Life expectancy in Germany has risen since the 1970s: by nine years to 82.6 years for women, and by ten years to 77.5 years for men. This equates to an increase of more than two years per decade.

Life expectancy is a general measure of the health of a population and therefore has high public health relevance.

With the changing disease spectrum of the population, the spectrum of causes of death is also changing. Healthcare is being faced with new challenges, for example relating to the increasing emergence of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia.

Analysis of the Spectrum of Causes of Death

At present, methodical and content-related questions on the analysis of the spectrum of causes of death and the changes in this spectrum are being addressed in the Robert Koch Institute.

In both women and men, the most common causes of death are cardiovascular diseases, followed by cancer. Fortunately, the mortality rate is decreasing in both these groups of illnesses. This trend has contributed to an increase in life expectancy, which is one of the causes of the demographic change.


Operationalizing multimorbidity and autonomy for health services research in aging populations - the OMAHA study

Holzhausen M, Fuchs J, Busch M et al (2011) BMC Health Services Research, 11:47