The U.S. death rate is going down and fewer people are dying from the leading causes of death compared to 40 years ago. That comes from a new study just published in the Journal of American Medicine.
The death rate for all causes declined by 43 percent between 1969 and 2013, according to Reuters. Five of the six leading causes of death declined during the study period. Death rates dropped:
- 77 percent for stroke,
- 68 percent for heart disease,
- 40 percent for unintended injuries,
- 18 percent for cancer, and
- 17 percent for diabetes.
The only one of the six leading causes of death that didn’t drop was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Rates of death from COPD doubled despite a decline in deaths among men near the end of the study period.
During the study, researchers examined national vital statistics to determine the total and annual percent change in age-standardized death rates before 75, as well as years of life lost.
“The leading causes of death examined in this study – except unintentional injuries – all are chronic conditions,” said lead study author Jiemin Ma, director of the surveillance and health services research program at the American Cancer Society, via email to the news organization. “Tobacco control, high blood pressure prevention and management, early detection and screening, and improvements in treating heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer have substantially contributed to reductions in death rates.”
Researchers pointed out that the progress against heart disease and stroke can be attributed to improved control of hypertension and hyperlipidemia, as well as smoking cessation and improved medical treatment. They also said that additional disease-specific studies are needed to dig deeper into these trends.
Making sure we keep these numbers headed in the right direction in our state will help us stay on track to one day reach our vision of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!