It is relatively common to find the lowest regional death rates from cancer being registered in capital regions, according to a study by Eurostat. However, the Romanian capital does not fit the pattern, recording the highest values across the country.


By contrast, at country level, Romania recorded among the lowest cancer rates across Europe, at less than 20 percent. However, the study says, these relatively low rates are, to some degree, affected by the high number of deaths from diseases of the circulatory system.

In Romania, deaths attributed to diseases of the circulatory system amounted to 60.2 percent of all deaths, way above the EU-28 average of 38.2 percent.

Our country also had some of the lowest crude death rates from diseases of the respiratory system, at less than 50 per 100,000 inhabitants in two Romanian regions (including the capital).

Slightly fewer than five million people died in the EU-28 in 2011, which equates to a crude death rate of 964 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants (or almost 1 percent of the population). The three leading causes of death in the EU-28 were: diseases of the circulatory system (368 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants); deaths from cancer (253 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants); and diseases of the respiratory system (75 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants).

In 2011, there were 1.9 million deaths resulting from diseases of the circulatory system in the EU-28, which was equivalent to 38.2 percent of all deaths. There was an east–west split in crude death rates from diseases of the circulatory system among the EU regions.

In Bulgaria the crude death rate for diseases of the circulatory system rose to over 1 000 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants (67.4 percent), joined by the Romanian region of South-Vest Oltenia (which shares a border with Bulgaria).

Cancer was the second largest cause of death in Europe, with more than one and a quarter million people in the EU-28 dying from cancer, just over one quarter (26.3 percent) of all deaths.

Within the EU member states, prostate cancer accounted for 1.5 percent of male deaths in Romania and 1.6 percent of male deaths in Bulgaria, a share that rose more than threefold to peak at 5.5 percent in Sweden.

At the same time, female deaths from breast cancer also had low rates in Romania, below 30 deaths per 100,000 female inhabitants, along with Ireland, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Poland. The highest crude death rate for breast cancer among women was recorded in Denmark (43 per 100,000 female inhabitants).

When it comes to healthcare resources, Romania had a relatively high number of hospital beds in the capital and Western parts of the country, with 900 beds per 100,000 inhabitants. The same regions registered fairly well on number of healthcare professionals, while the rest of the country recorded rather low numbers, with less than 150 physicians per 100,000 inhabitants.

Natalia Martian