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Cancer Tops Heart Disease as Leading Cause of Death in SD

— Cancer has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death among San Diego County residents, it was announced today.

There were 4,812 cancer deaths in San Diego County in 2007, compared to 4,743 deaths from heart disease, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.

"Cancer is the new leading cause of death of San Diego County residents," said Supervisor Dianne Jacob. "However, it's because heart disease deaths have decreased faster than cancer deaths."

While the number of people who died of cancer remained relatively flat over a five-year period, the number of heart disease deaths dropped 12 percent from 5,404 in 2003 to 4,743 in 2007, according to the county.

Despite the number of people who died of cancer, there are signs that progress is being made to combat the disease.

The cancer death rate registered for every 100,000 people in San Diego County dropped from 175 in 2003 to 162 in 2007, according to the statistics provided by the HHSA.

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