It’s sobering to see what’s going on across the board with our health. Many might assume that heart disease and cancer hover at the top of what’s killing us in this country, and they’d be correct, but some of the other causes that make the top fifteen are somewhat surprising. The data used for this list was complied from records of deaths, which were received from state vital statistics offices and processed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
What’s so surprising is what a role tobacco plays in this list. According to the World Health Organization, tobacco use is a major cause of many of the world’s top killer diseases – including cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive lung disease and lung cancer. In total, tobacco use is responsible for the death of almost one in 10 adults worldwide. Smoking is often the hidden cause of the disease recorded as responsible for death.
This list represents deaths of all ages. When looking at lists broken down by age, the causes differ: in general, youth is more vulnerable to violent death (accidents and homicide); middle age is more vulnerable to disease conditions affecting high risk individuals (cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.); and old age is more vulnerable to diseases related to general debility (infection, dementia, chronic disease and accidental falls).
The final results for 2007 were just published, the causes here are the preliminary numbers for deaths in the United States for 2009. The preliminary number of deaths for the year was 2,436,68–here is how the numbers are represented: