Friday, January 9, 2015

Causes of Death in the US for those 55-64

Photo by Steven Feather.
Over the last 100 years, Americans have increased their life expectancy significantly.

Some of the credit for this is due to improvements in public sanitation, the availability of inoculations, and improvements in prevention and early intervention.

People used to die much younger from heart disease, cancers and diabetes.  Now medical treatments allow people to avoid these diseases or to live much longer with these diseases.

While not a very cheery topic, looking at rates of death motivates me to work on prevention through healthy lifestyle choices and by seeking regular medical care.

The National Vital Statistics Report lists causes of death in the US during 2010 for a number of age ranges.  The report also breaks down the data by gender and race.

Here are the #1 causes of death for each age range listed in the report. (See the pie charts on page 10.)

Ages 1-9: Accidents (unintentional injuries) 32.4%
Ages 10-24: Accidents (unintentional injuries) 40.7%
Ages 25-44: Accidents (unintentional injuries) 26.2%
Ages 45-64: Cancer 32.3%
Ages 65 and Over: Heart Disease 26.5%
Ages 85 and Over: Heart Disease 30.8%

Here are the 2010 Report of the Top 10 Causes of Death for people ages 55 to 64 in the United States:

Malignant Neoplasms 35.2%
Diseases of the Heart 21.9%
Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases 4.6%
Accidents (unintentional injuries) 4.5%
Diabetes Mellitus 3.8%
Cerebrovascular Disease 3.4%
Chronic Liver Disease and Cirrhosis 3.1%
Intentional Self-Harm (suicide) 2.1%
Nephritis, Nephrotic Syndrome and Nephrosis 1.6%
Septicemia 1.5%
All Other Causes 18.3%

The causes of death for people 65 and over remains similar, except the rate of death by injuries (unintentional and suicide) falls and the rate of deaths for influenza & pneumonia rises as does the rate of death due to Alzheimer's Disease.

If you would like to read the full report, you can read it at the CDS's web page.  The data I'm summarizing above for people 55-64 comes from page 18. 



  1. Don't smoke; eat right; get some exercise. What else can you do?

    1. Indeed. I'm trying to find the right balance between working hard to maintain good health and throwing up my hands and going zen about the whole thing.