General Question

shorty's avatar

What is the #1killer in the US?

Asked by shorty (244points) March 8th, 2008 from iPhone
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

13 Answers

sndfreQ's avatar

not googling first

Then I suppose it would be heart disease…

Riser's avatar

Google search, check the first hit.

squirbel's avatar


Darnit oneye

Valhalla30's avatar

I believe it IS heart disease…

sndfreQ's avatar

@riser: So I guess I have to channel artemisdivine (hi a.d.!) on this one (although, thanks for the nudge-I went ahead and looked it up):

That article from CBS from 2005, indicated Cancer, however they cited a study dating to 2002 (the most recent year for which information was available), according to the American Cancer Society’s 2005 statistical report.

However, the US Department of Health and Human Services has statistical data dating from 2004, indicating that as of 2005, Heart Disease is the number one killer (as of 2005).

Apparently there is no more current data online, so my best guess is that it varies from year to year and the perception of ranking varies from agency to agency…it would seem that heart disease is still at the top.

According to the 2005 report from the CDC :
Leading causes of death
The 15 leading causes of death in 2005 accounted for 82.3 percent of all deaths in the United States (Table C). Causes of death are ranked according to the number of deaths. For ranking procedures, see ‘‘Technical Notes.’’ In rank order, the 15 leading causes in 2005 were: 1) Diseases of heart (heart disease), 2) Malignant neoplasms (cancer), 3) Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke), 4) Chronic lower respiratory diseases, 5) Accidents (unintentional injuries), 6) Diabetes mellitus (diabetes), 7) Alzheimer’s disease, 8) Influenza and pneumonia, 9) Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis (kidney disease), 10) Septicemia, 11) Intentional self-harm (suicide), 12) Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, 13) Essential (primary) hypertension and hypertensive renal disease (hypertension), 14) Parkinson’s disease, and 15) Assault (homicide). The 15 leading causes of death in 2005 retained the same ranking as in 2004.

Riser's avatar

Sorry Sndfre, I was on my iPhone at the time. I had no way of posting a link.

oneye36's avatar

Dont more poeple die in car crashes in USA

Riser's avatar

It is astounding to think that smoking causes two hundred thousand(s) deaths each year and that is not the leading cause in this country. That is incredible.

sndfreQ's avatar

@Riser-no apologies necessary-it was good that your suggestion made me look up-sometimes a remark comes off smug (like my first one)-but so many questions (esp. lately) seem to be trivial…hope you’re back’s doin’ all right-someone say vi-co-din?

DJM's avatar

without any doubt, its CVD, caused by obesity, smoking and sedentarity

ironhiway's avatar

After doing a search prompted by Riser’s curiosity of smoking deaths, also alluded to by DJM.

It appears the question is more complicated than simple statistics. Since smoking causes heart, lung, and several cancers. It also may be responsible for accidental related deaths such as auto accidents and fires caused by smoking. Similar problems with tracking deaths caused by alcohol and over eating,

What really killed them the heart disease or what caused the heart disease.

JAMA 2004 article “Modifiable behavioral risk factors leading causes of mortality US”:

I also found two sites that reference doctors as a leading cause of death.
Medical system US

Death by Medicine

I also noticed that in the 5–14 and 25 – 44 age ranges, homicide and accidents were in the top five.

Also differences between male and female like suicide was #8 male and #16 female.

sndfreQ's avatar

Interesting links ironhighway; except for that rather macabre video on the last link (Death by Medicine), but brings an interesting perspective to the discussion…

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