Rates of the leading causes of death in the U.S. 2018

The leading causes of death in the United States include heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and cerebrovascular diseases. However, heart disease and cancer account for most deaths in the United States.

Cardiovascular disease

Deaths from cardiovascular disease are more common among men than women but have decreased for both sexes over the past few decades. Coronary heart disease accounts for the highest portion of cardiovascular disease deaths in the U.S., followed by stroke and high blood pressure. The states with the highest death rates from cardiovascular disease include Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Smoking tobacco, physical inactivity, poor diet, stress, and being overweight or obese are all risk factors for developing heart disease.

Cancer

Although cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, like deaths from cardiovascular disease, deaths from cancer have decreased over the last few decades. The highest death rates from cancer come from lung cancer for both men and women. Breast cancer is the second deadliest cancer for women, while prostate cancer is the second deadliest cancer for men. Kentucky, Mississippi, and West Virginia lead the nation with the highest cancer death rates.

Rates of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States in 2018 (per 100,000 population)*

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Sources

Release date

January 2020

Region

United States

Survey time period

2018

Supplementary notes

* All data are preliminary and age-adjusted.

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