Top 10 Causes of Death in the US
The death rate in the United States hit an all-time low in 2014. For the age-adjusted death rate of 724.6 deaths per 100,000, down 1% from 2013, heart disease and cancer were still the top two causes of death in the United States in 2014, according to new data from the NationalCenter for Health Statistics published June 30 in National Vital Statistics Reports.
The top 10 causes of death in 2014 were as follows:
- Heart disease (23.4% of all deaths)
- Cancer (22.5%)
- Chronic lower respiratory diseases (5.6%)
- Accidents (unintentional injuries; 5.2%)
- Cerebrovascular diseases (5.1%)
- Alzheimer"s disease (3.6%)
- Diabetes mellitus (2.9%)
- Influenza and pneumonia (2.1%)
- Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis (1.8%)
- Intentional self-harm (suicide; 1.6%).
Together these 10 causes of death accounted for 74% of all deaths in the United States. Thay are unchanged from the top 10 causes of death in 2013.
The data come from death certificates, which are completed by funeral directors, attending physicians, medical examiners, and coroners.
Rankings differed when analyzed by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin. Heart disease was the leading cause of death for males (24.5%) and females (22.3%), and cancer was the second leading cause of death for both sexes (23.4% for males; 21.6% for females). Unintentional injuries was the third leading cause of death for males (6.4%) and the sixth leading cause of death for females (3.9%).
When analyzed by age, unintentional injury was the top cause of death for persons aged 1 to 44 years. Cancer (30.5%) and heart disease (25.5%) were the leading causes of death for those aged 45 to 64 years and 65 years and older, respectively.
Heart disease was the leading cause of death for the white (23.4%), black (23.7%), and the American Indian and Alaska Native (18.3%) populations and was the second leading cause of death for the Asian or Pacific Islander (21.6%) population.
Cancer was the top cause of death for the Asian or Pacific Islander (26.8%) population and was the second leading cause of death for the white (22.5%), black (22.4%), and American Indian and Alaska Native (17.5%) populations.
For the Hispanic population, cancer was the leading cause of death, and heart disease was the second leading cause of death. Heart disease was the leading cause of death and cancer was the second leading cause of death for the non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black populations.
HIV/AIDS went from the sixth to the eighth leading cause of death for men aged 25 to 34 years. HIV/AIDS was the sixth leading cause of death for black men and the seventh leading cause of death for Asian/Pacific Islander men and Hispanic men in the same age group. In contrast, HIV is not among the top 10 leading causes of death for white men of the same age.
Death Rate Down
A second mortality report published in the same issue of National Vital Statistics Reports explains that the age-adjusted death rate fell by 1% to a record low of 724.6 deaths per 100,000 US population from 2013 to 2014.
Overall, life expectancy at birth has not changed since 2012, at 78.8 years. But it rose for black males, Hispanic males and females, and non-Hispanic black males. It fell for non-Hispanic white females from 2013 to 2014.
Age-specific death rates decreased for those aged 1 to 4 years, 65 to 74 years, 75 to 84 years, and 85 years and older. Age-specific death rates rose for those aged 25 to 34 years, 35 to 44 years, and 55 to 64 years.
The top 15 causes of death were unchanged from 2013 to 2014. The infant mortality rate fell 2.3% to a historically low value of 5.82 deaths per 1000 live births.