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Causes of Death


10 Leading Causes of Death in the U.S., 2002

Leading causes of death differ somewhat by age, sex, and race. In 2002, as in previous years, accidents were the leading cause of death for those under 34 years, while in older age groups chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease were the leading causes. The top two causes for males and females—heart disease and cancer—are exactly the same. However, suicide and chronic liver disease ranked 8th and 10th for males but were not ranked among the ten leading causes for females. Similarly, Alzheimer's disease ranked 5th for females but was not among the top ten for males.

Rank1 Causes of death All persons Causes of death Male Causes of death Female
All causes 2,443,387 All causes 1,199,264 All causes 1,244,123
1. Diseases of heart 696,947 Diseases of heart 340,933 Diseases of heart 356,014
2. Malignant neoplasms (cancer) 557,271 Malignant neoplasms (cancer) 288,768 Malignant neoplasms (cancer) 268,503
3. Cerebrovascular diseases 162,672 Unintentional injuries 69,257 Cerebrovascular diseases 100,050
4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases 124,816 Cerebrovascular diseases 62,622 Chronic lower respiratory diseases 64,103
5. Unintentional injuries 106,742 Chronic lower respiratory diseases 60,713 Alzheimer's disease 41,877
6. Diabetes mellitus 73,249 Diabetes mellitus 34,301 Diabetes mellitus 38,948
7. Influenza and pneumonia 65,681 Influenza and pneumonia 28,918 Unintentional injuries 37,485
8. Alzheimer's disease 58,866 Suicide 25,409 Influenza and pneumonia 36,763
9. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis 40,974 Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis 19,695 Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis 21,279
10. Septicemia 33,865 Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis 17,401 Septicemia 18,918
Source: U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, Health, United States, 2004.

copyright @ 2006 by AF