If southeastern states with high rates of heart disease, cancer, and other leading causes of death could match low rates in states such as North Dakota and Utah, more than 250 000 US deaths could be prevented annually, a recent study indicates.
The report examined rates for the 5 leading causes of death in the United States: heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, and unintentional injuries. Using data from the National Vital Statistics System and the US Census Bureau (in collaboration with the National Center for Health Statistics), the investigators reported that the top 5 causes represented 63% of all deaths in 2010. The next 5 most frequent causes accounted for only about 12% of deaths. From 2008 to 2010, an average of 895 317 people younger than 80 years died annually from the 5 leading causes of death.