Cancer is the biggest cause of death for middle-aged people in the European Union, while transport accidents and suicide top the list for young adults.
But circulatory disease remains the biggest cause of death for all age-groups taken together, according to the latest statistics from the EU.
The figures, for the years 2001-3, show big variations between member states.
Middle-aged deaths from cancer are most common in Central Europe, while suicide rates are highest in the Baltic states.
Overall, circulatory diseases were responsible for 41% of all deaths, cancer for 15%, respiratory diseases for 8%, and external causes - such as accidents, homicide and suicide - for 5%.
Lung and breast cancer
Transport accidents were the biggest killer for under-20s (27%), but for the 20-44 age group, suicide was almost as common (12% compared to 13% of deaths).
Men in the 20-44 age group were four times more likely than women to kill themselves.
In the 45-64 age group, cancer accounted for 41% of deaths.
Cancers of the respiratory system were responsible for an average of 106 deaths per 100,000 men in this age range - but there were wide variations, from 39 in Sweden to 236 in Hungary.
Breast cancer was the most common fatal cancer among middle-aged women, with rates varying from 38 per 100,000 in Greece and Spain, to 66 in Denmark.
The UK was below average for respiratory system cancer deaths among middle-aged men (68 per 100,000), but above average for breast cancer deaths among women in this age-group (53 deaths per 100,000).