Almost one in three (32 per cent) deaths in men were caused by cancer, while cardiovascular disease-which includes heart attack and stroke-accounted for 29 per cent of deaths.
It's the first time in more than 50 years that heart disease hasn't been the major killer. But it's only true for men; heart disease is still the deadliest disease in women, and was responsible for 28 per cent of deaths, while cancer was the cause of 27 per cent.
The figures, which relate to deaths in the UK in 2012, also have enormous regional variations. Heart disease is still the major killer of both sexes in Scotland and the North of England, and the worst statistics are from Glasgow.
(Source: Heart, 2015; doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2015-307516)