02/24/2012 03:33 EST | Updated 04/25/2012 05:12 EDT

Canada Life Expectancy: B.C. Remains Highest In Canada, Cancer Deaths Down

VICTORIA - People in B.C. are living longer and death rates from cancer and some other diseases are falling, according to the latest vital statistics report from the provincial government.

The 2010 report found life expectancy in B.C. continues to edge up and remains the highest in Canada at 81.7 years.

The leading cause of death in B.C. is cancer, but the statistics show death rates from the disease are falling, along with those from heart disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis, while mortality rates for chronic diseases like diabetes have crept up.

The government says the death rate from HIV is the lowest since 1995 and B.C. is the only province showing a consistent decline in the disease, which is credited in part to the research and treatment efforts of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

B.C. mothers delivered 43,667 babies in 2010, with the most popular baby names being Jacob, Liam and Ethan for boys, and Olivia, Ella and Emma for girls.

The number of deaths during the year was 31,143, down slightly from the previous year, and the oldest person to die was 108.

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