Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

100 leading causes of death in the U.S.

100 leading causes of death in the U.S.
1/PxHere

100 leading causes of death in the U.S.

Though the term “natural causes” is technically a euphemism used to describe deaths from the discontinued functioning of one’s organs as a result of old age, the notion still proves more appealing to most people than alternative causes of death. While it can be unsettling to walk around with the knowledge of all the means by which one’s life could be brought to an end, being wary of the potential for an “unnatural” demise has made humans a wiser, more cautious species—one that has taken active measures to learn about these cases and prevent them to the best of its abilities.

More specifically, this knowledge has led to huge advancements in science and medicine that have improved quality of life. In the early 20th century, most Americans died of infectious diseases like flu and tuberculosis, leading to the development of cures, vaccines, and new sanitation standards that prevent diseases from spreading. Similarly, average U.S. life expectancy has been declining since 2015, the first time it’s dropped for three straight years since the period between 1915 and 1918. Examining the causes of death driving these unprecedented declines—rising suicide rates and the opioid epidemic in particular—and what’s causing the most deaths more generally allows scientists and researchers to focus their studies where they will have the most impact.

Using data provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Stacker composed a list of the 100 most common causes of death in the United States. The data being considered for the rankings draws from a database of approximately 45 million deaths between the years 1999 and 2016, accounting for people of all demographics and geographical locations.

Read on to learn about not only the most regularly occurring causes of American deaths, but also the state in which each of them is most common.


You might also like:Best states for health care and Worst states for health care

#100. Unspecified diabetes mellitus, with peripheral circulatory complications
2/Pixabay

#100. Unspecified diabetes mellitus, with peripheral circulatory complications

Deaths due to this cause: 68,968

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.3

Percent of total deaths: 0.15%

Cause is most prevalent in: District of Columbia (2.44 deaths per 100,000 people)

Diabetes mellitus causes people to produce either insufficient levels of insulin, or insulin that does not function as it’s supposed to—ultimately resulting in an inability to convert food into expendable energy. The disease has the capacity to be lethal in a handful of ways, one of which is creating multiple roadblocks in the way of one’s circulatory functioning.

#99. Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol, dependence syndrome
3/PxHere

#99. Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol, dependence syndrome

Deaths due to this cause: 71,088

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.3

Percent of total deaths: 0.16%

Cause is most prevalent in: District of Columbia (5.05 deaths per 100,000 people)

While the debate over marijuana legalization rages on, many proponents point to the fact alcohol is an arguably more dangerous substance that remains legal. While alcohol is more commonly thought of as dangerous in the contexts of driving and misconduct, it also creates a plethora of long-term consequences, including exacerbation of disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, and various forms of anxiety.

 

#98. Cervix uteri, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms
4/THD3 // Wikicommons

#98. Cervix uteri, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms

Deaths due to this cause: 72,190

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.3

Percent of total deaths: 0.16%

Cause is most prevalent in: Mississippi (1.99 deaths per 100,000 people)

Though tumors are typically associated with cancer, they can often be benign. Malignant neoplasms, however, refer to tumors that carry the deadly disease and can be found in a handful of locations throughout the body. Cervical cancer is one of the more easily treatable variations of the tissue-destroying disease, and in many cases, can be avoided altogether via the use of regular Pap tests. Unfortunately, the statistics prove it still remains a frequent cause of death.

#97. Intrahepatic bile duct carcinoma - Malignant neoplasms
5/Qwe321 // Wikicommons

#97. Intrahepatic bile duct carcinoma - Malignant neoplasms

Deaths due to this cause: 76,893

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.4

Percent of total deaths: 0.17%

Cause is most prevalent in: Rhode Island (2.13 deaths per 100,000 people)

While cancer originating in the bile duct is rare in general, intrahepatic (liver-originating) bile duct cancer is even rarer. Though it can be difficult to detect, this form of carcinoma is typified by patients experiencing fever, itchy skin, abdominal pain, and jaundice

#96. Other lack of expected normal physiological development
6/Alexismessmer // Wikicommons

#96. Other lack of expected normal physiological development

Deaths due to this cause: 77,889

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.4

Percent of total deaths: 0.17%

Cause is most prevalent in: Alaska (Unreliable deaths per 100,000 people)

Amongst the most difficult situations a parent can be confronted with is how to appropriately care for a child with a severe developmental disorder. The most well-known of these include autism, Asperger syndrome, and Tourette’s. Though the list of potential setbacks young children can face in their early growth stages grows longer, new medical discoveries are made every year.

#95. Intentional self-harm by handgun discharge
7/PxHere

#95. Intentional self-harm by handgun discharge

Deaths due to this cause: 78,191

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.4

Percent of total deaths: 0.17%

Cause is most prevalent in: Hawaii (Unreliable deaths per 100,000 people)

Though Hawaii is typically thought of as one of the happiest places on Earth, the statistics reveal a darker truth—the state leads in suicide by handgun. According to a study conducted by the Hawaiian government, the majority of these stemmed either from relationship troubles or severe mental illness of some sort.
 

#94. Malignant neoplasm of uterus, part unspecified
8/Public Domain

#94. Malignant neoplasm of uterus, part unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 78,726

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.4

Percent of total deaths: 0.18%

Cause is most prevalent in: District of Columbia (2.34 deaths per 100,000 people)

Uterine malignancies are representative of a significant percentage of cancers from which women suffer, and while there are a few variations, endometrial carcinomas account for more than 9 in 10 cases. The majority of these instances are considered Type I endometrial carcinomas, which are most common in women 55 to 65 years old, while cases of Type II are far rarer and primarily seen in women between 65 and 75 years old.

#93. Other and unspecified intestinal obstruction
9/jeffadair // Flickr

#93. Other and unspecified intestinal obstruction

Deaths due to this cause: 78,845

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.5

Percent of total deaths: 0.18%

Cause is most prevalent in: South Dakota (2.69 deaths per 100,000 people)

Intestinal obstruction refers to the instance of food being unable to pass through one’s small intestine or large intestine. While it can be treated when caught, symptoms can often be difficult to notice. Abdominal pains, vomiting, and constipation are all sensations that can be misconstrued for something less serious, so it’s advised that patients experiencing those get checked regardless so as to avoid a worst-case scenario.

#92. Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia - Malignant neoplasms
10/MEdic454 // Wikicommons

#92. Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia - Malignant neoplasms

Deaths due to this cause: 80,002

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.5

Percent of total deaths: 0.18%

Cause is most prevalent in: Iowa (2.3 deaths per 100,000 people)

Also known as CLL for short, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia is a type of cancer where an excess of weak white blood cells are formed in one’s bone marrow. Though the weaker cells are not intrinsically harmful to the body, their unwanted presence takes the place of properly functioning white and red blood cells, as well as platelets—each of which serve to fight off various infections.
 

#91. Malignant neoplasms of independent (primary) multiple sites
11/U.S. Air Force

#91. Malignant neoplasms of independent (primary) multiple sites

Deaths due to this cause: 80,416

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.5

Percent of total deaths: 0.18%

Cause is most prevalent in: Arkansas (2.71 deaths per 100,000 people)

Though many of the cancers on this list are associated with a clearly defined origin, there are a fair deal whose primary location is unknown for one reason or another. In cases like this, the malignant neoplasm is said to be either "disseminated," "scattered," or "spread," indicating a cancer that has moved throughout the body to the point that its original location is undetectable. 

#90. Dilated cardiomyopathy
12/Wikicommons

#90. Dilated cardiomyopathy

Deaths due to this cause: 82,031

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.5

Percent of total deaths: 0.18%

Cause is most prevalent in: Hawaii (2.98 deaths per 100,000 people)

A heart disease that is often hereditary, dilated cardiomyopathy usually begins in the left ventricle, causing the muscle to become stretchy and thin—resulting in difficulty breathing and swelling of various joints in many cases. Studies have shown that DCM often stems from poor health habits such as excessive alcohol consumption or poor diet.

#89. Chronic viral hepatitis C
13/Public Domain

#89. Chronic viral hepatitis C

Deaths due to this cause: 82,968

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.5

Percent of total deaths: 0.18%

Cause is most prevalent in: District of Columbia (3.44 deaths per 100,000 people)

Hepatitis refers to an inflammation of the liver, and the three variations of the disease are each assigned their own letter to distinguish the varying causes and severities. Hepatitis C can be labeled acute—indicative of a short-term infection which people typically overcome, or chronic, indicating a serious liver problem that could lead to scarring and the development of cancer.

#88. Senility
14/Philipp Michel Reichold // Wikicommons

#88. Senility

Deaths due to this cause: 87,087

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.6

Percent of total deaths: 0.19%

Cause is most prevalent in: Florida (10.65 deaths per 100,000 people)

Though dementia disorders such as Alzheimer’s do not intrinsically kill people, declining brain function ultimately plays a direct role in the passing of older individuals. People with Alzheimer’s, however, have been dying at an alarmingly faster rate in recent years; the mortality rate of affected individuals rose nearly 10% between 1999 and 2014.

#87. Heart disease, unspecified
15/Thirteen of Clubs // Flickr

#87. Heart disease, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 88,611

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.6

Percent of total deaths: 0.20%

Cause is most prevalent in: Alabama (6.28 deaths per 100,000 people)

Blood pumping throughout the body is an essential facet of human life; it enables people to move limbs freely, breathe comfortably, and experience sensations via the nervous system. Some common indicators that one’s heart is not functioning as normal include swelling in one’s legs and feet, weakness and fatigue, and excessive wheezing or other exercise-related difficulties. 

#86. Subarachnoid haemorrhage, unspecified
16/Wonderlane // Wikicommons

#86. Subarachnoid haemorrhage, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 91,234

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.7

Percent of total deaths: 0.20%

Cause is most prevalent in: Hawaii (2.77 deaths per 100,000 people)

While incredibly rare, subarachnoid haemorrhage—strokes resulting from bleeding on the surface of the brain—typically come with little or no warning, but often prove to be the byproduct of certain sorts of physical activity. People have typically experienced them while undergoing some kind of strenuous exercise such as working out, having sex, or even coughing. 

#85. Endocarditis, valve unspecified
17/Chikumaya // Wikicommons

#85. Endocarditis, valve unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 91,898

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.7

Percent of total deaths: 0.20%

Cause is most prevalent in: Montana (3.09 deaths per 100,000 people)

Endocarditis refers to an infection of one’s endocardium, which is the thin membrane connecting the heart’s multiple blood valves. While the disease is serious if not treated properly, seeing as it has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths in recent decades, it is typically treatable—either by the use of antibiotics, or by surgery in more extreme cases. 

#84. Cardiovascular disease, unspecified
18/U.S. Air Force

#84. Cardiovascular disease, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 93,530

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.7

Percent of total deaths: 0.21%

Cause is most prevalent in: Maine (4.68 deaths per 100,000 people)

While cardiovascular disease and heart disease are closely related, heart disease refers to complications with the organ itself, whereas cardiovascular disease can affect any active part of the cardiovascular system. Many problems which can be labeled as examples of cardiovascular disease result from instances of atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque in one’s artery walls that can result in constricted blood flow.

#83. Anoxic brain damage, not elsewhere classified
19/U.S. Air Force

#83. Anoxic brain damage, not elsewhere classified

Deaths due to this cause: 94,816

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.7

Percent of total deaths: 0.21%

Cause is most prevalent in: Alabama (3.23 deaths per 100,000 people)

Short-term instances of anoxic brain injuries, a condition in which the brain is deprived of oxygen for an extensive period of time, can be seemingly harmless, causing minor troubles concentrating and dizziness. In more serious cases, however, depriving the brain of oxygen can result in impairment of one’s vision, speech, or memory, and even cause death.

#82. Enterocolitis due to Clostridium difficile
20/WikiTownsvillian // Wikicommons

#82. Enterocolitis due to Clostridium difficile

Deaths due to this cause: 97,010

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.8

Percent of total deaths: 0.22%

Cause is most prevalent in: Rhode Island (4.49 deaths per 100,000 people)

Enterocolitis refers to inflammation of the inner lining of one’s digestive track, more specifically the large intestine. Though Clostridium difficile (known commonly as C-dif) is a bacterium best known for causing diarrhea, it can also ultimately lead to the scarring associated with various forms of colitis—which can result in serious injury and even death if not treated properly.

#81. Myelodysplastic syndrome, unspecified - Uncertain neoplasms
21/Pixabay

#81. Myelodysplastic syndrome, unspecified - Uncertain neoplasms

Deaths due to this cause: 97,826

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.8

Percent of total deaths: 0.22%

Cause is most prevalent in: South Dakota (2.91 deaths per 100,000 people)

Myelodysplastic syndromes result from the improper formation of blood cells, rendering them incapable of performing their proper functions. While fatigue, shortness of breath, and frequent infections are symptoms that do not necessarily indicate a serious problem, patients whose skin breaks out in petechiae, tiny red dots representative of subsurface bleeding, ought to consult with a physician.

#80. Cerebral infarction, unspecified
22/GoodFreePhotos

#80. Cerebral infarction, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 100,511

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.8

Percent of total deaths: 0.22%

Cause is most prevalent in: South Carolina (3 deaths per 100,000 people)

Cerebral infarctions, known more commonly as strokes, occur in people whose brains experience a sudden shortage of blood flow to a certain region for a variety of reasons. This loss of oxygen translates into the damage of several key tissues in the brain, which in severe cases can cause patients to experience reduced motor skills, language difficulties, loss of sentience, or death.

#79. Unspecified diabetes mellitus, with renal complications
23/Nevit Dilmen // Wikicommons

#79. Unspecified diabetes mellitus, with renal complications

Deaths due to this cause: 101,017

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.9

Percent of total deaths: 0.22%

Cause is most prevalent in: Oklahoma (3.09 deaths per 100,000 people)

Diabetes mellitus is a disease that has the capacity to attack the body in a myriad of ways, not the least of which is by targeting the kidneys. Though it is difficult to guarantee with absolute certainty the avoidance of renal failure with any serious diseases, physicians recommend the administration of drugs such as glipizide and repaglinide to help alleviate symptoms.

#78. Heart failure, unspecified
24/brykmantra // Flickr

#78. Heart failure, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 102,088

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.9

Percent of total deaths: 0.23%

Cause is most prevalent in: Alabama (6.01 deaths per 100,000 people)

Though approximately 5 million Americans are living with congestive heart failure (CHF), the statistics pertaining to the survival rates of those diagnosed are far less encouraging. Emory Healthcare claims that more than 50% of individuals who contract CHF die within five years of their diagnosis.
 

#77. Vascular disorder of intestine, unspecified
25/Chikumaya // Wikicommons

#77. Vascular disorder of intestine, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 105,393

Deaths per 100,000 people: 1.9

Percent of total deaths: 0.23%

Cause is most prevalent in: Rhode Island (3.21 deaths per 100,000 people)

A blockage of blood flow to the intestines can cause a handful of serious problems for the health of one’s internal organs. Though the digestive system and cardiovascular system are typically thought of as separate in medical terms, the two are incredibly co-dependent. Diseases relating to the failure of their collaborative functions are much more common later in life, primarily in people age 60 and older

#76. Chronic kidney disease, stage 5
26/Public Domain

#76. Chronic kidney disease, stage 5

Deaths due to this cause: 106,346

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2

Percent of total deaths: 0.24%

Cause is most prevalent in: Louisiana (3.88 deaths per 100,000 people)

Chronic kidney disease, or CKD, is perhaps one of the scariest infections in existence, since it often exhibits no symptoms and proves incredibly difficult to detect. Though signs of it usually appear in blood tests, it is common for the disease to only become apparent once irreversible damage has been done to one’s kidneys.

#75. Hyperlipidaemia, unspecified
27/SirGrok // Wikicommons

#75. Hyperlipidaemia, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 110,986

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2

Percent of total deaths: 0.25%

Cause is most prevalent in: West Virginia (4.4 deaths per 100,000 people)

Hyperlipidemia refers to excessive lipids that can lead to a buildup of plaque in one’s arteries. It is amongst the most preventable tragedies on this list, and people can ward off bad cholesterol by taking active measures to maintain a healthy lifestyle, whether it be eating well, exercising with greater frequency, or avoiding smoking of all forms.

#74. Vascular dementia, unspecified
28/Public Domain

#74. Vascular dementia, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 111,774

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2.1

Percent of total deaths: 0.25%

Cause is most prevalent in: Washington (3.66 deaths per 100,000 people)

Though Alzheimer’s disease accounts for a whopping 60 to 80% of all dementia cases and has a far larger death toll, vascular dementia is another harmful condition that impacts mental function. It results from a severe lack of blood flow to one’s brain, and is extremely common in stroke survivors.

#73. Motor neuron disease
29/Anthony22 // Wikicommons

#73. Motor neuron disease

Deaths due to this cause: 112,854

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2.1

Percent of total deaths: 0.25%

Cause is most prevalent in: Vermont (3.48 deaths per 100,000 people)

Motor neuron diseases come in many forms and can occur in both children and adults. Symptoms can present themselves even before an infant takes its first steps, though they can appear seemingly out of nowhere in adults. Such was the case with Yankees legend Lou Gehrig, whose case of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) reared its ugly head late in the first baseman’s career. It eventually became known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” in his honor.

#72. Other fall on same level
30/An Errant Knight // Wikicommons

#72. Other fall on same level

Deaths due to this cause: 115,002

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2.1

Percent of total deaths: 0.26%

Cause is most prevalent in: New Mexico (10.5 deaths per 100,000 people)

Though falling from high surfaces is something that many people fear, a dangerous fall can occur from any level. Falling is something most people have experienced with little to no major consequences, but they are especially dangerous in the case of elderly individuals—whose fragile bones are more susceptible to breaking when coming in contact with hard surfaces.

#71. Cerebrovascular disease, unspecified
31/Public Domain

#71. Cerebrovascular disease, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 115,315

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2.1

Percent of total deaths: 0.26%

Cause is most prevalent in: Pennsylvania (5.04 deaths per 100,000 people)

Cerebrovascular disease refers to any a breakdown in adequate blood flow to the brain, and can include a wide array of terrible outcomes, including strokes, aneurysms, and vascular malformations. Since arteries are not typically seen in X-rays, physicians encourage people who fear they may be at risk to get either a CT or CAT scan, a cerebral angiography, or a carotid ultrasound.

#70. Malignant neoplasm of rectum
32/Public Domain

#70. Malignant neoplasm of rectum

Deaths due to this cause: 118,113

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2.2

Percent of total deaths: 0.26%

Cause is most prevalent in: West Virginia (3.31 deaths per 100,000 people)

Though it may not be part of your everyday routine to check in on the quality of your stools, making a habit of doing so can be instrumental in saving one’s life. Rectal cancer shows a great many symptoms in patients, including weakness, fatigue, and random weight loss—though the ones that are more easily distinguishable from other forms of illness are those pertaining to fecal aberrations, including the presence of blood or mucus in one’s bowel movements. 

#69. Sequelae of other and unspecified cerebrovascular diseases
33/Pixabay

#69. Sequelae of other and unspecified cerebrovascular diseases

Deaths due to this cause: 118,364

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2.2

Percent of total deaths: 0.26%

Cause is most prevalent in: Oregon (4.03 deaths per 100,000 people)

Though cardiovascular diseases prove harmful in and of themselves, the resulting sequelae (long-term conditions) can also cause death. These include atrial fibrillations, where the heart beats at an exceedingly irregular rate, and in severe cases can end in cardiac arrest.

#68. Liver, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms
34/U.S. Air Force

#68. Liver, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms

Deaths due to this cause: 121,181

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2.2

Percent of total deaths: 0.27%

Cause is most prevalent in: Mississippi (5.1 deaths per 100,000 people)

As is the case with most cancers, anybody can be at risk, but liver cancer is a type of the disease that is found more often in a select group of people. Individuals with the viruses of hepatitis B or hepatitis C are the most likely to contract liver cancer, though heavy drinkers and obese individuals also more susceptible than the rest of the general public.

#67. End-stage renal disease
35/Pixabay

#67. End-stage renal disease

Deaths due to this cause: 125,059

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2.3

Percent of total deaths: 0.28%

Cause is most prevalent in: Louisiana (5.15 deaths per 100,000 people)

End-stage renal disease, or ESRD, refers to the final stage in a five-stage progression of chronic kidney disease, which is indicated by a very low glomerular filtration rate—the speed at which one’s kidneys can remove waste.

#66. Peripheral vascular disease, unspecified
36/Public Domain

#66. Peripheral vascular disease, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 125,650

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2.3

Percent of total deaths: 0.28%

Cause is most prevalent in: West Virginia (3.44 deaths per 100,000 people)

There are a handful of ways in which clogging of one’s arteries can have lethal results. In the case of a peripheral vascular disease, blood flow to the limbs is cut off—often causing a patient immense pain in one’s arms and legs—and is fatal in severe cases.

#65. Acute renal failure, unspecified
37/Public Domain

#65. Acute renal failure, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 131,324

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2.4

Percent of total deaths: 0.29%

Cause is most prevalent in: West Virginia (4.21 deaths per 100,000 people)

While many diseases brew in one’s system over an extended period of time, acute kidney failure can develop over the course of a few days—or even in just a couple of hours. Though kidney failure can vary in degree of severity, proper treatment in healthier individuals can lead to a full or close-to-full return to health. 

#64. Liver cell carcinoma - Malignant neoplasms
38/Max Pixel

#64. Liver cell carcinoma - Malignant neoplasms

Deaths due to this cause: 136,942

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2.5

Percent of total deaths: 0.30%

Cause is most prevalent in: Hawaii (4.37 deaths per 100,000 people)

Of the various malignancies of the liver, hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common by far—and occurs more frequently in men than in women. It usually results from cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, which can happen in a myriad of cases, but is more likely in individuals who drink alcohol excessively or suffer from hemochromatosis, an overload of iron in one’s system.

#63. Chronic renal failure, unspecified
39/Public Domain

#63. Chronic renal failure, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 137,517

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2.5

Percent of total deaths: 0.31%

Cause is most prevalent in: West Virginia (4.84 deaths per 100,000 people)

Chronic renal failure (CKD) is a multi-stage process that has potentially fatal consequences at various stages. Since it can be difficult to determine which stage of CKD the victim was experiencing at the time of death, many are simply labeled unspecified so as not to mischaracterize the patient’s experience. 

#62. Intracranial haemorrhage (nontraumatic), unspecified
40/University of the Fraser Valley // Wikicommons

#62. Intracranial haemorrhage (nontraumatic), unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 137,639

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2.5

Percent of total deaths: 0.31%

Cause is most prevalent in: Nevada (3.93 deaths per 100,000 people)

Accounting for about a 10th of all strokes in the United States, intracranial haemorrhages are not uncommon in athletes who experience regular head-to-head contact. The NFL has taken measures in recent years to make the game safer for its players, whose trauma-inducing hits can cause them to experience a great deal of intracranial bleeding.

 

#61. Malignant melanoma of skin, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms
41/Max Pixel

#61. Malignant melanoma of skin, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms

Deaths due to this cause: 138,933

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2.6

Percent of total deaths: 0.31%

Cause is most prevalent in: West Virginia (3.73 deaths per 100,000 people)

Skin cancer comes in many forms, with melanoma the most dangerous: It kills upwards of 10,000 people in the United States every year. One way to detect melanoma is the presence of asymmetrical moles; experts advise getting in contact with a physician, as asymmetry is often indicative of a malignancy. 

#60. Gastrointestinal haemorrhage, unspecified
42/Public Domain

#60. Gastrointestinal haemorrhage, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 139,846

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2.6

Percent of total deaths: 0.31%

Cause is most prevalent in: Pennsylvania (4.39 deaths per 100,000 people)

Often referred to as GI bleeding, gastrointestinal haemorrhages can occur anywhere in the digestive tract, whether that’s the esophagus, the small or large intestine, the rectum, or the anus. Though the symptoms are somewhat disturbing, they’re fairly easy to recognize: The U.S. National Library of Medicine advises checking for discolored or abnormally textured stool and vomit.  

#59. Pulmonary embolism without mention of acute cor pulmonale
43/U.S. Air Force

#59. Pulmonary embolism without mention of acute cor pulmonale

Deaths due to this cause: 143,273

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2.6

Percent of total deaths: 0.32%

Cause is most prevalent in: Arkansas (4.97 deaths per 100,000 people)

A pulmonary embolism is when one of the two arteries in the lungs experiencing a blockage. While this can often result an acute cor pulmonale, or right heart failure, there are instances of pulmonary embolisms bringing about death in other ways. However, these can be prevented more easily with continued positive treatment of one’s legs, whether that means regular elevation or compression stockings

#58. Cardiac arrhythmia, unspecified
44/Ernstl // Wikicommons

#58. Cardiac arrhythmia, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 144,628

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2.7

Percent of total deaths: 0.32%

Cause is most prevalent in: Arkansas (6.1 deaths per 100,000 people)

When people on life support flatline, it represents the most severe example of a cardiac arrhythmia, which is defined by an abnormal sequencing of electrical impulses to the heart. This disruption of impulses may infringe on the heart’s ability to pump blood as normal, which can result in complications for other organs throughout the body.

#57. Acute myeloid leukaemia - Malignant neoplasms
45/Public Domain

#57. Acute myeloid leukaemia - Malignant neoplasms

Deaths due to this cause: 152,078

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2.8

Percent of total deaths: 0.34%

Cause is most prevalent in: Iowa (3.84 deaths per 100,000 people)

Acute myeloid leukemia, which occurs when one’s bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells, has a negative effect on one’s pre-existing healthy blood cells. The cancer is named after myeloid stem cells, which are responsible for generating the faulty white blood cells.

#56. Intentional self-harm by hanging, strangulation and suffocation
46/Wonderlane // Flickr

#56. Intentional self-harm by hanging, strangulation and suffocation

Deaths due to this cause: 152,684

Deaths per 100,000 people: 2.8

Percent of total deaths: 0.34%

Cause is most prevalent in: Hawaii (5.6 deaths per 100,000 people)

Though there are many means by which people intentionally bring an end to their own lives, suffocation by means of hanging and other forms of strangulation are still upsettingly common in the year 2018.

#55. Generalized and unspecified atherosclerosis
47/Nightryder84

#55. Generalized and unspecified atherosclerosis

Deaths due to this cause: 164,994

Deaths per 100,000 people: 3

Percent of total deaths: 0.37%

Cause is most prevalent in: Kansas (13.02 deaths per 100,000 people)

The American Heart Association does a good job of summarizing atherosclerosis, or fatty deposits, which clog one’s arteries with plaque buildup: “a big word for a big problem.” While atherosclerosis can occur in many parts of the body, it is oftentimes unclear which arteries being clogged lead most directly to a person’s death.

#54. Hypertensive renal disease with renal failure
48/OpenStax // Wikicommons

#54. Hypertensive renal disease with renal failure

Deaths due to this cause: 167,586

Deaths per 100,000 people: 3.1

Percent of total deaths: 0.37%

Cause is most prevalent in: District of Columbia (5.21 deaths per 100,000 people)

Increased blood pressure as a result of kidney failure can be recognized in a handful of ways, though it is not uncommon to experience no symptoms whatsoever. Many people with renal hypertension never undergo the headaches, blurred vision, or bloody urine typically associated with it. 

#53. Sequelae of stroke, not specified as haemorrhage or infarction
49/Public Domain

#53. Sequelae of stroke, not specified as haemorrhage or infarction

Deaths due to this cause: 171,789

Deaths per 100,000 people: 3.2

Percent of total deaths: 0.38%

Cause is most prevalent in: Arkansas (5.18 deaths per 100,000 people)

While strokes themselves are incredibly dangerous, survivors more often than not experience symptoms long thereafter that can also prove to be fatal. After experiencing a stroke, most people feel weak and stiff, and can develop emotional and cognitive changes over time without even realizing it.

#52. Alcoholic cirrhosis of liver
50/Pixabay

#52. Alcoholic cirrhosis of liver

Deaths due to this cause: 183,788

Deaths per 100,000 people: 3.4

Percent of total deaths: 0.41%

Cause is most prevalent in: New Mexico (6.9 deaths per 100,000 people)

Cirrhosis of the liver can come about in a handful of ways, but it’s most directly associated with alcohol abuse. While men are more likely to contract alcoholic liver disease than women, women typically require less exposure to alcohol over the course of their respective lifetimes in order to get cirrhosis.

#51. Assault by other and unspecified firearm discharge
51/Cory Doctorow // Flickr

#51. Assault by other and unspecified firearm discharge

Deaths due to this cause: 184,285

Deaths per 100,000 people: 3.4

Percent of total deaths: 0.41%

Cause is most prevalent in: District of Columbia (18.64 deaths per 100,000 people)

Gun violence is a serious epidemic in the United States—more than any other country in the world—and it has only gotten worse in recent years. Not only are isolated incidents of murder by firearms on the rise, there have already been 23 school shootings across the country in 2018—which checks out to be approximately one every single week.

#50. Person injured in unspecified motor-vehicle accident, traffic
52/PxHere

#50. Person injured in unspecified motor-vehicle accident, traffic

Deaths due to this cause: 190,917

Deaths per 100,000 people: 3.5

Percent of total deaths: 0.43%

Cause is most prevalent in: Alabama (10.43 deaths per 100,000 people)

A less noticeable, but equally disturbing trend in recent years has been the amount of motor-vehicle accidents that have caused death. Whether by accident or intentional, people die every day from neglectful driving—and events like those in Nice, France, and Charlottesville, Va. also serve to underscore the damage that drivers with malicious intents are capable of.
 

#49. Hypertensive heart disease with (congestive) heart failure
53/Max Pixel

#49. Hypertensive heart disease with (congestive) heart failure

Deaths due to this cause: 192,928

Deaths per 100,000 people: 3.5

Percent of total deaths: 0.43%

Cause is most prevalent in: Mississippi (9.48 deaths per 100,000 people)

Hypertensive heart disease can render itself in a few different forms, with coronary heart disease and left ventricular hypertrophy both proving incredibly common amongst those with high blood pressure. While high blood pressure can be passed down hereditarily, it is also something that can result from not engaging in healthy activities, such as smoking or eating fatty, cholesterol-heavy foods. 

#48. Stomach, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms
54/Max Pixel

#48. Stomach, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms

Deaths due to this cause: 195,032

Deaths per 100,000 people: 3.6

Percent of total deaths: 0.43%

Cause is most prevalent in: Hawaii (6.81 deaths per 100,000 people)

Stomach cancer, as with most cancers, does not happen exclusively to any one particular group of people, there are a handful of factors that point to certain people’s increased likelihood of contracting it. In the United States, stomach cancer is seen most commonly in elderly individuals, with men experiencing the disease 50% more often than women.

#47. Unspecified fall
55/Tim Evanson // Flickr

#47. Unspecified fall

Deaths due to this cause: 198,643

Deaths per 100,000 people: 3.7

Percent of total deaths: 0.44%

Cause is most prevalent in: Minnesota (8.5 deaths per 100,000 people)

Falling is something that is present in the minds of many fliers, skiers, and other people who have to travel to high altitudes from which they could hypothetically suffer a serious fall. As such, many people have developed a fear of high places known as acrophobia, which psychologists suggest stems from a desire to be “in control” going unfulfilled.

#46. Multiple myeloma - Malignant neoplasms
56/Pixabay

#46. Multiple myeloma - Malignant neoplasms

Deaths due to this cause: 198,774

Deaths per 100,000 people: 3.7

Percent of total deaths: 0.44%

Cause is most prevalent in: District of Columbia (4.87 deaths per 100,000 people)

Multiple myeloma forms in a white blood cell known as a plasma cell, whose purpose is to help fight off disease by making antibodies, which ward of germs. While the cancer is difficult to detect because the symptoms vary with some irregularity, there are quite a few that can call for a worthwhile doctor visit, including: excessive thirst, weak legs, reduced desire to eat, and bone pain in the mid-section.

#45. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with acute lower respiratory infection
57/NIAID // Wikicommons

#45. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with acute lower respiratory infection

Deaths due to this cause: 199,164

Deaths per 100,000 people: 3.7

Percent of total deaths: 0.44%

Cause is most prevalent in: West Virginia (7.48 deaths per 100,000 people)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, refers to lung diseases like bronchitis and emphysema, which can make it exceedingly difficult to breathe. The disease is rarely fatal, however, and many people have lived successful lives with it throughout history—including recognizable names like Dean Martin and Johnny Carson.

#44. Chronic ischaemic heart disease, unspecified
58/Public Domain

#44. Chronic ischaemic heart disease, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 203,317

Deaths per 100,000 people: 3.7

Percent of total deaths: 0.45%

Cause is most prevalent in: North Carolina (15.66 deaths per 100,000 people)

Ischaemic heart disease refers to a myriad of heart problems—stemming from arteries to the heart being narrowed, resulting in a lack of oxygen and blood being transmitted to the muscle. Many Americans suffer from silent ischemia, or the state of experiencing ischemia without feeling pain, which sounds nice in theory, except that it can result in one suffering from a heart attack with no warning.

#43. Intentional self-harm by other and unspecified firearm discharge
59/U.S. Marshals Service // Flickr

#43. Intentional self-harm by other and unspecified firearm discharge

Deaths due to this cause: 206,640

Deaths per 100,000 people: 3.8

Percent of total deaths: 0.46%

Cause is most prevalent in: Montana (8.98 deaths per 100,000 people)

Proponents of gun control often point to the fact that easy access to firearms not only allows people the opportunity to inflict harm on others, but on themselves as well. More than 21,000 Americans die by way of gun-inflicted suicide annually—a fact that could have something to do with the fact that fewer than 10% of suicide attempts not involving a gun are successful, while 90% of gun suicides are successful. 

#42. Emphysema, unspecified
60/Pixabay

#42. Emphysema, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 214,558

Deaths per 100,000 people: 3.9

Percent of total deaths: 0.48%

Cause is most prevalent in: Arkansas (6.48 deaths per 100,000 people)

Emphysema is a respiratory disease that can result from exposure to tobacco or marijuana smoke, though it can also be contracted by being surrounded by low-quality air and various chemical fumes. This may explain why the disease is most prevalent in Arkansas, whose capital Little Rock is one of the 25 most polluted metro areas in the United States.

#41. Other interstitial pulmonary diseases with fibrosis
61/Public Domain

#41. Other interstitial pulmonary diseases with fibrosis

Deaths due to this cause: 216,854

Deaths per 100,000 people: 4

Percent of total deaths: 0.48%

Cause is most prevalent in: Maine (5.87 deaths per 100,000 people)

Interstitial pulmonary diseases refers to a handful of disorders stemming from the internal scarring of lung tissue, which can hinder oxygen flow and make breathing exceedingly difficult. Pulmonary fibrosis can be observed by a dry cough, excessive aching in joints and certain muscles, as well as clubbing, which refers to the widening and rounding of fingertips and toes.
 

#40. Ischaemic cardiomyopathy
62/U.S. Air Force

#40. Ischaemic cardiomyopathy

Deaths due to this cause: 218,459

Deaths per 100,000 people: 4

Percent of total deaths: 0.49%

Cause is most prevalent in: Florida (8.74 deaths per 100,000 people)

Ischemic CMs are the most common type of dilated cardiomyopathy, in which the heart is less able to pump blood as normal because the left ventricle is enlarged and weak. Often the result of coronary artery disease or a heart attack, ischemic CMs can be identified by a wide array of symptoms—some of which include chest palpitations and weight gain by fluid retention. 

#39. Aortic (valve) stenosis
63/Pixabay

#39. Aortic (valve) stenosis

Deaths due to this cause: 220,100

Deaths per 100,000 people: 4

Percent of total deaths: 0.49%

Cause is most prevalent in: Oregon (8.92 deaths per 100,000 people)

When the heart’s aortic valve becomes increasingly narrowed, aortic valve stenosis blocks blood from passing from one’s heart to their aorta. The disease oftentimes becomes apparent in the form of occasional heart murmurs and will regularly require surgery in order to repair or replace the valve.
 

#38. Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, without complications
64/Thelonderee // Wikicommons

#38. Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, without complications

Deaths due to this cause: 223,649

Deaths per 100,000 people: 4.1

Percent of total deaths: 0.50%

Cause is most prevalent in: West Virginia (9.49 deaths per 100,000 people)

In West Virginia, the nation’s leader in per-capita diabetes deaths, it is estimated that nearly a quarter of a million people carry the disease. The Mountain State is right to call the disease a local epidemic, since approximately 12% of West Virginian adults have received a diabetes diagnosis from their physician. 

#37. Accidental poisoning by and exposure to narcotics and psychodysleptics [hallucinogens], not elsewhere classified
65/Shebley CL // Flickr

#37. Accidental poisoning by and exposure to narcotics and psychodysleptics [hallucinogens], not elsewhere classified

Deaths due to this cause: 226,016

Deaths per 100,000 people: 4.2

Percent of total deaths: 0.50%

Cause is most prevalent in: District of Columbia (9.73 deaths per 100,000 people)

Poisoning from narcotic overdose is something that happens to intentional opioid users all too regularly, but even seemingly “safer” drugs carry comparable risks when one considers the dangers of mixing. For example, while cannabis may be perceived as relatively safe in the eyes of many, it has the potential to be laced with more dangerous drugs and carry their toxic effects with it without the person realizing. 

#36. Malignant neoplasm of kidney, except renal pelvis
66/Nihaochan // Wikicommons

#36. Malignant neoplasm of kidney, except renal pelvis

Deaths due to this cause: 228,425

Deaths per 100,000 people: 4.2

Percent of total deaths: 0.51%

Cause is most prevalent in: West Virginia (5.69 deaths per 100,000 people)

Unlike other forms of cancer throughout the body, kidney cancer always originates in the kidneys, and it can be recognized a few ways. For one, patients with kidney cancer are likely to experience mild-to-severe back pain; those affected experience blood in their urine to the point that it appears pink or even cola-colored. 
 

#35. Accidental poisoning by and exposure to other and unspecified drugs, medicaments and biological substances
67/yourbestdigs // Flickr

#35. Accidental poisoning by and exposure to other and unspecified drugs, medicaments and biological substances

Deaths due to this cause: 228,784

Deaths per 100,000 people: 4.2

Percent of total deaths: 0.51%

Cause is most prevalent in: West Virginia (12.47 deaths per 100,000 people)

The National Safety Council warns of poisons which can be found among the most basic household items. Among the most common are glue, paints, markers, and laundry packets, all of which are easily accessible and consumable by children, and should be kept out of reach.

#34. Urinary tract infection, site not specified
68/Max Pixel

#34. Urinary tract infection, site not specified

Deaths due to this cause: 229,272

Deaths per 100,000 people: 4.2

Percent of total deaths: 0.51%

Cause is most prevalent in: Rhode Island (6.99 deaths per 100,000 people)

UTIs are much more common in women than men, and they can originate in several locations throughout one’s urinary tract. Though a handful of symptoms like cloudy urine or increased urgency are universal, different parts of the urinary tract being affected give off their own unique symptoms.

#33. Brain, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms
69/Public Domain

#33. Brain, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms

Deaths due to this cause: 231,747

Deaths per 100,000 people: 4.3

Percent of total deaths: 0.52%

Cause is most prevalent in: Maine (5.78 deaths per 100,000 people)

Brain tumors can originate within the brain, or start in other parts of the body and move toward the brain. It is obviously difficult for a patient to know they may be at risk without a professional medical diagnosis, but a few indicators that one may have a tumor, either benign or malignant, include difficulty with balance, a loss of feeling in various limbs, or random nausea.

#32. Other ill-defined and unspecified causes of mortality
70/Alex Proimos // Wikicommons

#32. Other ill-defined and unspecified causes of mortality

Deaths due to this cause: 240,445

Deaths per 100,000 people: 4.4

Percent of total deaths: 0.54%

Cause is most prevalent in: District of Columbia (17.97 deaths per 100,000 people)

In the 1993 classic “Groundhog Day,” a nurse at the emergency room regrettably tells a grieving Bill Murray, “Sometimes, people just die.”  Though medical professionals do their best to find a tangible cause for every death, there are many cases where the autopsy does not reveal a clear indication of why a person passed.

#31. Esophagus, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms
71/TritonsRising // Wikicommons

#31. Esophagus, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms

Deaths due to this cause: 245,771

Deaths per 100,000 people: 4.5

Percent of total deaths: 0.55%

Cause is most prevalent in: Maine (7.26 deaths per 100,000 people)

Cancer of the esophagus comes about when a collection of cells in one’s food pipe grow in an unregulated, uncontrolled manner; it can develop in the upper or lower esophagus as well as the stomach. Esophageal cancer occurs far more regularly in men than women, and has a somewhat discouraging five-year survival rate at only 19%.

#30. Bladder, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms
72/Siflashphoto // Wikicommons

#30. Bladder, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms

Deaths due to this cause: 251,918

Deaths per 100,000 people: 4.6

Percent of total deaths: 0.56%

Cause is most prevalent in: Maine (7.29 deaths per 100,000 people)

Unlike other cancers, cancer of the bladder carries with it a unique set of symptoms—most generally typified by frequent, painful, and bloody urination. Older white men are at a greater risk to contract the disease than the general public, and some of the key risk factors include smoking or exposure to some chemicals. 

#29. Cardiac arrest, unspecified
73/Taty2007 // Wikicommons

#29. Cardiac arrest, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 253,635

Deaths per 100,000 people: 4.7

Percent of total deaths: 0.56%

Cause is most prevalent in: Alabama (37.21 deaths per 100,000 people)

Cardiac arrest and heart attacks are often confused as being the same thing, though heart attacks occur during a loss of blood supply while a cardiac arrest is the result of a malfunction of the heart’s electrical system. Fans of the King of Pop may remember that cardiac arrest is what took the life of Michael Jackson when he passed away nearly 10 years ago.

#28. Malignant neoplasm of ovary
74/Mahanga // Wikicommons

#28. Malignant neoplasm of ovary

Deaths due to this cause: 259,155

Deaths per 100,000 people: 4.8

Percent of total deaths: 0.58%

Cause is most prevalent in: Pennsylvania (6.03 deaths per 100,000 people)

Oscar-winning actress Kathy Bates is known for roles like Molly Brown in “Titanic,” but she’s also one of the most well-known living advocates of ovarian cancer awareness. She was able to successfully overcome the disease she was diagnosed with back in 2003, due in a large part to the fact that she reached out to a physician when she noticed her bloating and constant urge to urinate. 
 

#27. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, unspecified type - Malignant neoplasms
75/PxHere

#27. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, unspecified type - Malignant neoplasms

Deaths due to this cause: 266,210

Deaths per 100,000 people: 4.9

Percent of total deaths: 0.59%

Cause is most prevalent in: West Virginia (6.95 deaths per 100,000 people)

Named for the English physician Thomas Hodgkin, both Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are cancers of the lymphatic system—the network of disease-fighting mechanisms located throughout the body. Non-Hodgkin’s may render itself in the form of many symptoms indicative of poor defense mechanisms against disease, whether that’s painful lymph nodes, fever, fatigue, or night sweats.

#26. Unspecified renal failure
76/Pixabay

#26. Unspecified renal failure

Deaths due to this cause: 266,233

Deaths per 100,000 people: 4.9

Percent of total deaths: 0.59%

Cause is most prevalent in: Arkansas (9.63 deaths per 100,000 people)

Renal failure can be either acute or chronic, which means it could either be the result of a long-lasting kidney disease that was bound to culminate in discontinued functioning, or a sudden shutdown with no warning. Though kidney failures account for more than one in every 200 deaths, celebrities such as Halle Berry, Selena Gomez, and Sarah Hyland are all successfully living their best lives in spite of serious kidney issues.

#25. Atrial fibrillation and flutter
77/Public Domain

#25. Atrial fibrillation and flutter

Deaths due to this cause: 270,889

Deaths per 100,000 people: 5

Percent of total deaths: 0.60%

Cause is most prevalent in: Oregon (9.77 deaths per 100,000 people)

As in the case with cardiac arrest, atrial flutter and fibrillations refer to the irregular functioning of the heart’s electrical system. Though other diseases can be hard to recognize, simply taking a patient’s heart rate and noticing anything out of the ordinary can be a strong indicator of fibrillations or flutter.

#24. Intracerebral haemorrhage, unspecified
78/Mondberg // Wikicommons

#24. Intracerebral haemorrhage, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 273,153

Deaths per 100,000 people: 5

Percent of total deaths: 0.61%

Cause is most prevalent in: Hawaii (6.99 deaths per 100,000 people)

Intracerebral 2 can be identified through seizures, confusion, vision loss, and a handful of other symptoms that point to the brain functioning at a subpar level. Though the condition is impossible to prevent altogether, it’s commonly the result of strenuous physical activity.

#23. Other and unspecified cirrhosis of liver
79/John Crawford // Wikicommons

#23. Other and unspecified cirrhosis of liver

Deaths due to this cause: 275,281

Deaths per 100,000 people: 5.1

Percent of total deaths: 0.61%

Cause is most prevalent in: West Virginia (8.88 deaths per 100,000 people)

Liver cirrhosis is a common cause of death, and scientists have conducted experiments in recent years to find a cure for the many people it impacts. Researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine recently discovered that the infusion of anti-fibrotic vascular cells can help rebuild damaged structures in the walls of the liver.
 

#22. Essential (primary) hypertension
80/Yuya Tamai // Flickr

#22. Essential (primary) hypertension

Deaths due to this cause: 280,918

Deaths per 100,000 people: 5.2

Percent of total deaths: 0.63%

Cause is most prevalent in: Mississippi (9.97 deaths per 100,000 people)

High blood pressure, known as hypertension, can result in a series of serious and often fatal health complications—though secondary complications may be unclear at the time of diagnosis. Hypertension can be hereditary and uncontrollable, though it can often be triggered by a myriad of poor health decisions such as diet and lack of physical activity.

#21. Pneumonitis due to food and vomit
81/jjbers // Flickr

#21. Pneumonitis due to food and vomit

Deaths due to this cause: 314,521

Deaths per 100,000 people: 5.8

Percent of total deaths: 0.70%

Cause is most prevalent in: Connecticut (9.95 deaths per 100,000 people)

Pneumonitis refers to the inflammation of the alveoli in the lungs brought about by the introduction of a harmful substance to the body, be that drugs, radiation treatments, or exposure to certain types of birds. Food can often trigger the disease as well, and the regularity with which mold has carried the disease to people’s lungs has earned certain varieties of bacteria-based pneumonitis the nicknames, “farmer’s lung” and “hot tub lung.”

#20. Cardiomyopathy, unspecified
82/Med Chaos // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Cardiomyopathy, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 326,831

Deaths per 100,000 people: 6

Percent of total deaths: 0.73%

Cause is most prevalent in: Florida (10.06 deaths per 100,000 people)

A big contributor to many eventual heart failures, cardiomyopathies occur when the heart muscle is unable to pump blood to the remainder of one’s body. Though these are not entirely preventable, as genetic heart problems and pregnancy complications are each common causes, one can lower their chances of experiencing a cardiomyopathy by avoiding binge drinking and the consumption of stimulant drugs such as cocaine.

#19. Parkinson's disease
83/Max Pixel

#19. Parkinson's disease

Deaths due to this cause: 375,447

Deaths per 100,000 people: 6.9

Percent of total deaths: 0.84%

Cause is most prevalent in: Maine (9.44 deaths per 100,000 people)

First described as ‘paralysis agitans’ by Dr. James Parkinson in 1817, and then later named in his honor by Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot, the disease has received increasingly more recognition in recent years as a result of powerful awareness campaigns. Behind the voices of affected celebrities, including Michael J. Fox, people have rallied together to fight the disease by raising money and spreading valuable information—especially during April, which is officially recognized as Parkinson’s Awareness Month.

#18. Hypertensive heart disease without (congestive) heart failure
84/Jacek Halicki // Wikicommons

#18. Hypertensive heart disease without (congestive) heart failure

Deaths due to this cause: 380,761

Deaths per 100,000 people: 7

Percent of total deaths: 0.85%

Cause is most prevalent in: District of Columbia (29.08 deaths per 100,000 people)

When beloved comedian Ralphie May passed away on Oct. 7, 2017, it served as a reminder to people about the immense dangers of overeating to the point that one’s blood pressure rises to uncontrollable levels. What is so especially dangerous about hypertension, according to Dr. Brandy Patterson of the University of Virginia, is that it can put pressure against the walls of one’s arteries without the patient feeling anything until irreversible damage has been done to their internal organs.

#17. Malignant neoplasm without specification of site
85/U.S. Air Force

#17. Malignant neoplasm without specification of site

Deaths due to this cause: 474,749

Deaths per 100,000 people: 8.7

Percent of total deaths: 1.06%

Cause is most prevalent in: West Virginia (14.49 deaths per 100,000 people)

While cancer is detrimental enough when its origin site is clear to the doctors responsible for treating it, it is even more volatile and dangerous when the source proves entirely unclear. Certain cancers are untreatable altogether, though having knowledge of the primary site allows medical professionals the opportunity to assess the situation with a better idea of what steps may be best suited to the prevention of further spreading.

#16. Malignant neoplasm of prostate
86/Pixabay

#16. Malignant neoplasm of prostate

Deaths due to this cause: 524,480

Deaths per 100,000 people: 9.6

Percent of total deaths: 1.17%

Cause is most prevalent in: District of Columbia (13.87 deaths per 100,000 people)

Every September, the Prostate Cancer Foundation encourages people to “Step up for Blue” and help fight the second most common cancer in American men. Contributions to research efforts combating the disease in recent years have not only paved the way for a significant decrease in the prostate cancer death rate, but have also subsequently played roles in major breakthroughs in nine other cancers.
 

#15. Septicemia, unspecified
87/Calle Eklund/V-wolf // Wikicommons

#15. Septicemia, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 582,716

Deaths per 100,000 people: 10.7

Percent of total deaths: 1.30%

Cause is most prevalent in: New Jersey (19.92 deaths per 100,000 people)

Septicemia refers to any poisoning of the blood by the same collection of germs, which can lead to meningitis, and it results from a large amount of bacteria entering the bloodstream. Since the illness worsens progressively as more bacteria infiltrate the bloodstream, septicemia is something that can be more easily reversed if caught in its earlier stages, most clearly defined by faintness, pale and clammy skin, and abnormally high body temperature.

#14. Pancreas, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms
88/Muffet // Flickr

#14. Pancreas, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms

Deaths due to this cause: 623,801

Deaths per 100,000 people: 11.5

Percent of total deaths: 1.39%

Cause is most prevalent in: Pennsylvania (14.33 deaths per 100,000 people)

One of the most brutal variations of cancer, pancreatic cancer claims more than 90% of patients within five years of diagnosis, making it easily one of the most irreversible malignancies. It is unsurprising that approximately 75% of cases are seen in people between the ages of 55 and 84, seeing as the disease can more easily affect the pancreas when one’s defense mechanisms progressively weaken over time with aging.

#13. Unspecified diabetes mellitus, without complications
89/Pixabay

#13. Unspecified diabetes mellitus, without complications

Deaths due to this cause: 679,735

Deaths per 100,000 people: 12.5

Percent of total deaths: 1.51%

Cause is most prevalent in: Louisiana (21.54 deaths per 100,000 people)

Though the small percentage of diabetes patients diagnosed with Type 1 usually receive the news at a young age, in which they could not have done anything to prevent it, approximately 85% of patients suffer from Type 2, which is more often than not the result of lack of exercise, poor diet, or a combination of the two. While Type 1 patients require daily insulin shots to manage their health, those with Type 2 are often able to manage the disease by taking active measures to improve their diet and maintain a generally healthy lifestyle.

#12. Breast, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms
90/Pixnio

#12. Breast, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms

Deaths due to this cause: 747,671

Deaths per 100,000 people: 13.8

Percent of total deaths: 1.66%

Cause is most prevalent in: Pennsylvania (17.22 deaths per 100,000 people)

With the most estimated new cases in 2018, breast cancer is not only the most commonly diagnosed variation of the deadly disease, but it is arguably the most widely recognized as well. Activism against the infection has been most heavily channeled through the sports world in recent years, as the National Football League dedicated October to the color pink in order to raise awareness until they decided to shift the month in 2017 to allow teams to take efforts toward fighting a disease of their choice. 

#11. Colon, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms
91/U.S. Air Force

#11. Colon, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms

Deaths due to this cause: 763,970

Deaths per 100,000 people: 14.1

Percent of total deaths: 1.70%

Cause is most prevalent in: West Virginia (20.47 deaths per 100,000 people)

The majority of colon cancer instances begin with the formation of benign cell clumps known as adenomatous polyps, which can sometimes develop into malignancies. Though cases are variable as with any other cancer, patients who transition from diets that are high in fiber and low in fat to diets that more traditionally follow the “Western” model, have proven more susceptible to develop colon cancer. 

#10. Pneumonia, unspecified
92/Michael Rivera // Wikicommons

#10. Pneumonia, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 878,985

Deaths per 100,000 people: 16.2

Percent of total deaths: 1.96%

Cause is most prevalent in: Arkansas (23.93 deaths per 100,000 people)

The ninth president of the United States, William Henry Harrison, is famously said to have died only a month into his term as a result of pneumonia he contracted while delivering his 8,445-word inaugural address without a hat, coat, or gloves in the pouring rain. While scientists have since suggested that may have not quite been the case, the disease is still rampant today and can be noticed by excessive coughing, abnormally severe fever, and shaky chills. 

#9. Congestive heart failure
93/PxHere

#9. Congestive heart failure

Deaths due to this cause: 986,287

Deaths per 100,000 people: 18.1

Percent of total deaths: 2.20%

Cause is most prevalent in: Mississippi (40.93 deaths per 100,000 people)

Heart failure manifests itself in a handful of ways and as a result, it can be recognized by a wide variety of symptoms. Lower-body swelling and trouble breathing may indicate a side-specific failure in the right and left ventricles, respectively, whereas difficulty either in pumping blood throughout the body or receiving blood in the heart itself could indicate either a systolic or diastolic heart failure.

#8. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, so described
94/Roy Luck // Flickr

#8. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, so described

Deaths due to this cause: 1,125,283

Deaths per 100,000 people: 20.7

Percent of total deaths: 2.51%

Cause is most prevalent in: District of Columbia (84.62 deaths per 100,000 people)

Though atherosclerosis represents a sizable portion of annual deaths in the United States, be it of the cardiovascular or heart-specific variety, scientists are developing more technologically savvy ways of fighting it every single day. Studies out of the Baylor College of Medicine have revealed that certain biomarkers are capable of indicating to medical professionals that cardiovascular disease may be approaching before it affects individuals. 

#7. Stroke, not specified as haemorrhage or infarction
95/Chris Wagner // Wikicommons

#7. Stroke, not specified as haemorrhage or infarction

Deaths due to this cause: 1,332,232

Deaths per 100,000 people: 24.5

Percent of total deaths: 2.97%

Cause is most prevalent in: Arkansas (37.12 deaths per 100,000 people)

An eerie statistic to imagine is the fact that somebody suffers from a stroke approximately every 40 seconds in the United States. While young people do have some risk of experiencing one, more than three-quarters of all reported strokes occur after the age of 65, and nearly a decade after people’s risk of experiencing one more than doubles.

#6. Alzheimer's disease, unspecified
96/Public Domain

#6. Alzheimer's disease, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 1,332,563

Deaths per 100,000 people: 24.5

Percent of total deaths: 2.97%

Cause is most prevalent in: North Dakota (46.96 deaths per 100,000 people)

Sports fans everywhere wept on June 28, 2016 when Alzheimer’s took Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in the history of college basketball. The pride of Nashville and eight-time National Collegiate Athletic Association-tournament winner has left a legacy that is anything but limited to the sports world, and the foundation named in her honor actively fights Alzheimer’s by seeking to fund research and provide educational resources for young people.

#5. Unspecified dementia
97/Public Domain

#5. Unspecified dementia

Deaths due to this cause: 1,381,584

Deaths per 100,000 people: 25.4

Percent of total deaths: 3.08%

Cause is most prevalent in: Maine (42.47 deaths per 100,000 people)

While dementia is typically associated with Alzheimer’s, the term ‘dementia’ is technically a symptom describing one’s decreased mental abilities to the point that it interferes with everyday functions, and it is seen in a handful of diseases. Since dementia is easy to spot, but its associated disease is more difficult to diagnose as a result of constant brain changes, doctors often deem it sufficient to diagnose the patient with “unspecified dementia.”
 

#4. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, unspecified
98/Jmarchn // Wikicommons

#4. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 1,838,159

Deaths per 100,000 people: 33.8

Percent of total deaths: 4.09%

Cause is most prevalent in: West Virginia (60.07 deaths per 100,000 people)

Often specified as emphysema, an inflammation of the alveoli, or bronchitis, and inflammation of the bronchial tubes, COPD is often easy to diagnose, but difficult to specify in terms of the region being most directly impacted. Though the disease is clearly amongst the most prevalent causes of death in the United States, contracting it is not necessarily a death sentence, since stars such as NASCAR racer Danica Patrick have overcome it and continued on with careers heavily dependant on a reliable respiratory system.

#3. Acute myocardial infarction, unspecified
99/Truckee Meadows Community College // Wikicommons

#3. Acute myocardial infarction, unspecified

Deaths due to this cause: 2,574,756

Deaths per 100,000 people: 47.4

Percent of total deaths: 5.73%

Cause is most prevalent in: Arkansas (106.9 deaths per 100,000 people)

Better known colloquially as ‘heart attacks,’ acute myocardial infarctions take place when one’s blocked coronary artery causes the heart muscle to suffer from a lack of blood supply. Though they are often difficult to detect until they strike, one can sometimes sense a heart attack on the horizon when experiencing extreme chest pain, cold sweats, and lightheadedness or dizziness. 

#2. Bronchus or lung, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms
100/Cosmed // Wikicommons

#2. Bronchus or lung, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms

Deaths due to this cause: 2,799,377

Deaths per 100,000 people: 51.5

Percent of total deaths: 6.23%

Cause is most prevalent in: West Virginia (81.89 deaths per 100,000 people)

In a world with not so many objective truths, one thing will always be for certain: smoking cigarettes is the most detrimental thing people can do to their lungs. While there exists the notion that chronic smokers will get lung cancer regardless and may as well keep smoking as a result, the Mayo Clinic reminds smokers that risk is progressively increased with each new cigarette, and that quitting at any stage is worthwhile in the hopes of avoiding the nation’s most deadly variant of cancer.

#1. Atherosclerotic heart disease
101/Public Domain

#1. Atherosclerotic heart disease

Deaths due to this cause: 3,396,232

Deaths per 100,000 people: 62.5

Percent of total deaths: 7.56%

Cause is most prevalent in: New York (117.92 deaths per 100,000 people)

The most common cause of death in the United States, atherosclerotic heart disease results from a wide array of factors, many of which become increasingly difficult to manage with increased age. While smoking, high cholesterol, and a diet lacking sufficient nutrition can all contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, it can also be onset simply by a lack of exercise, which is increasingly harder to avoid as one’s bones become more fragile and as mobility decreases.

2018 All rights reserved.