A total of 2535 people committed suicide in Australia in 2012, a 10-year peak.
"Heart disease is still the leading cause of death, with 20,046 deaths in 2012, however this has fallen steadily since 2003. Heart disease accounted for 14 per cent of all deaths in 2012 compared to 19 per cent of all deaths in 2003," said James Eynstone-Hinkins, ABS Director of the Health and Vitals Statistics Unit.
"There were 10,779 deaths from Cerebrovascular diseases (including haemorrhages, strokes, infarctions and blocked arteries of the brain) in 2012, making these the second most common cause of death.
"Dementia and Alzheimer's disease was the third leading cause of death, accounting for 10,369 or seven per cent of all deaths in 2012. Most (95 per cent) of these deaths occurred in people aged 75 or over.
"For women, dementia and Alzheimer's disease has overtaken Cerebrovascular diseases as the second leading cause of death in 2012, while breast cancer remained the sixth most common cause of death.
"Suicide was the 14th most common cause of death in 2012 overall, but remains the 10th leading cause for men. Suicide is the leading cause of death for males and females aged between 15 and 44.
"Overall, the death rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders was double that of non-Indigenous Australians. The leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was heart disease, with diabetes ranked as the second leading cause." said Mr Eynstone-Hinkins.