Rates of death from five leading causes decline over 30 years

Between 1969 and 2013, rates of death due to heart disease, cancer, stroke, unintentional injuries, diabetes and all-causes combined have decreased, according to recently published data.

However, during the same time period, there was an increase in death due to COPD.

Researchers conducted a joinpoint analysis of data from the U.S. national vital statistics data from 1969 through 2013 to assess trends and changes in causes of death due to all-causes as well as the six leading causes.

Results demonstrated that between 1969 and 2013, rate of death for all-causes decreased by 42.9%. The rates of death also decreased for stroke by 77%, heart disease by 67.5%, unintentional injuries by 39.8%, cancer by 17.9% and for diabetes by 16.5%.

Conversely, rates of death due to COPD increased by 100.6% over the same time period.

Rates of years of potential life lost per 1,000 decreased by 14.5% from diabetes, 40.6% from cancer, 68.3% from heart disease and 74.8% from stroke during the analysis period.

The researchers noted that declines in death from heart disease and stroke are most likely due to improvements in control of hypertension and hyperlipidemia, smoking cessation and medical treatment, while declines from cancer can be attributed to tobacco control along with earlier detection and treatment efforts.

“Regardless of the changes in death rates, the increasing numbers of old persons in the United States and growth of the U.S. population will pose a considerable challenge for health care delivery in the coming decades, in view of the shortage of primary care physicians and geriatricians, increasing cost of health care, and the lag between health life and life expectancy,” the researcher wrote. – by Casey Hower

Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

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