0
We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
ARTICLE |

Actual Causes of Death in the United States

J. Michael McGinnis, MD, MPP; William H. Foege, MD, MPH
JAMA. 1993;270(18):2207-2212. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510180077038.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Objective.  —To identify and quantify the major external (nongenetic) factors that contribute to death in the United States.

Data Sources.  —Articles published between 1977 and 1993 were identified through MEDLINE searches, reference citations, and expert consultation. Government reports and compilations of vital statistics and surveillance data were also obtained.

Study Selection.  —Sources selected were those that were often cited and those that indicated a quantitative assessment of the relative contributions of various factors to mortality and morbidity.

Data Extraction.  —Data used were those for which specific methodological assumptions were stated. A table quantifying the contributions of leading factors was constructed using actual counts, generally accepted estimates, and calculated estimates that were developed by summing various individual estimates and correcting to avoid double counting. For the factors of greatest complexity and uncertainty (diet and activity patterns and toxic agents), a conservative approach was taken by choosing the lower boundaries of the various estimates.

Data Synthesis.  —The most prominent contributors to mortality in the United States in 1990 were tobacco (an estimated 400000 deaths), diet and activity patterns (300 000), alcohol (100 000), microbial agents (90 000), toxic agents (60 000), firearms (35 000), sexual behavior (30 000), motor vehicles (25 000), and illicit use of drugs (20 000). Socioeconomic status and access to medical care are also important contributors, but difficult to quantify independent of the other factors cited. Because the studies reviewed used different approaches to derive estimates, the stated numbers should be viewed as first approximations.

Conclusions.  —Approximately half of all deaths that occurred in 1990 could be attributed to the factors identified. Although no attempt was made to further quantify the impact of these factors on morbidity and quality of life, the public health burden they impose is considerable and offers guidance for shaping health policy priorities.(JAMA. 1993;270:2207-2212)

Topics

Sign in

Create a free personal account to sign up for alerts, share articles, and more.

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal

Figures

Tables

References

Letters

CME
Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign in

Create a free personal account to sign up for alerts, share articles, and more.

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Jobs
brightcove.createExperiences();