People in Switzerland are living longer, according to new statistics showing that cardiovascular diseases, cancer and dementia are the country's three most common causes of death.

"/> People in Switzerland are living longer, according to new statistics showing that cardiovascular diseases, cancer and dementia are the country's three most common causes of death.

" />
SHARE
COPY LINK

HEALTH

Life expectancy on the rise in Switzerland

People in Switzerland are living longer, according to new statistics showing that cardiovascular diseases, cancer and dementia are the country's three most common causes of death.

Most people in Switzerland die of old age, said the Federal Statistics Office (FSO) on Thursday, releasing 2009 data.

Life expectancy is on the rise, with men reaching an average of 74.4 years and women an average of 81.2.

The general health of the population is continuing to improve, said Christoph Junker, head of the health section of the FSO.

And the explanation is simple: “There are improvements in treatment, but there have also been improvement in prevention efforts. Practising sport has become widespread, so the population remains very active for a very long time,” Junker said, adding that demographers do not expect life expectancy to drop any time soon.

In all, 57 percent of people who died in 2009 were aged 80 or older, with 78 percent at least 70 years old.

Even though the Swiss die older, they still die of the same conditions as in previous decades. Cardiovascular diseases accounted for 36 percent of deaths (22,228 people), while cancer, especially lung cancer, caused 26 per cent of deaths (16,062 people).

However, in both cases mortality is declining. In just ten years, the mortality rate fell by 31 percent for cardiovascular diseases, and by 11 percent for cancer. Lung cancer is by far the most deadly: it caused twice as many deaths as breast cancer and prostate cancer, the two next most common forms of the disease.

The number of deaths from dementia doubled over the past decade with 4,700 people dying from the condition in 2009. In a statement, the statistics office said the rise was related to the ageing population and also the fact that doctors are now more likely to diagnose the disorder.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

HEALTH

Reader question: Can I put my Swiss health insurance on hold if I’m abroad?

Given how expensive health insurance premiums are in Switzerland, you may be tempted to suspend your policy while you are abroad. Is this possible?

Reader question: Can I put my Swiss health insurance on hold if I'm abroad?

Unlike the obligatory car insurance, which you can suspend temporarily by depositing your registration plates at the local motor vehicles office, rules pertaining to health insurance are much stricter.

As the Federal Office of Public Health explains it, “If you leave the country for a certain period to travel or study but do not take up residence abroad, you are still required to have [health] insurance in Switzerland”.

In other words, as long as you are a registered resident of Switzerland, regardless of your nationality or passport, you must keep your compulsory Swiss health insurance and pay your premiums. While you do this, you also remain covered against most medical emergencies while you travel.

However, rules are less stringent for supplemental health plans which can, in some cases, be put on hold, depending on the insurance provider, according to Switzerland’s Moneyland consumer website.

The only exception allowed for suspending the health insurance coverage is during a military or civil protection service which lasts more than 60 consecutive days.

“During these periods, the risks of illness and accident are covered by military insurance. Your health insurance provider will refund your premiums”, according to FOPH.

Under what circumstances can you cancel your Swiss health insurance?

Swiss law says you can cancel your insurance if you are moving abroad, either permanently for for a period exceeding three months.

If you do so, only claims for treatments given while you still lived in Switzerland will be paid by your insurance; any medical bills for treatment incurred after you officially leave will be denied.

These are the procedures for cancelling your compulsory health insurance if you leave the country under conditions mentioned above

To announce your departure abroad, you must send your insurance carrier a letter including your name, customer number or AVS/AHV number.

You must also include a certificate from your place of residence in Switzerland confirming that you have de-registered from your current address, as well as the date of your departure.

Note, however, that if your new destination is another Swiss community / canton, rather than a foreign country, your insurance can only be cancelled from the following calendar year and only if you present proof of having taken up a new policy with another company.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: How to register your address in Switzerland

You can find out more information about this process here

If you suspend your health insurance for less than six years, you can reactivate it at a later date with the same company when you return to Switzerland.

READ MORE : What you should know about your Swiss health insurance before you go abroad
 

SHOW COMMENTS