If you only knew about America through our cinema and TV shows, it would be easy to think that people mostly die because of homicide, apocalyptic disease, or maybe because of an automobile explosion after a long car chase. However, as is with the case with most other things seen in movies, none of those makes the list of the top ten leading causes of death in the United States each year. So what does?
Here is the Center for Disease Control’s ten most common ways:
- Intentional Self Harm (suicide)
About 41,149 people die every year because of suicide. Over 90% were suffering from a mental illness at the time of their death, untreated depression being the most common. Depression can be especially dangerous because it often manifests because of genetic predisposition, not because of any singular traumatic event.
- Nephritis, Nephrotic Syndrome, and Nephrosis
There are an estimated 47,112 people that die each year from Nephritis, Nephrotic Syndrome and Nephrosis, a collection of symptoms which damage the kidneys. This leads to too much protein in the urine, and is the result of various different illnesses, such as cancer, genetic disorders, immune disorders, and infections, among other things.
- Influenza and Pneumonia
Between %5 and %20 of the United States population gets the flu every year; 200,000 develop the virus and become hospitalized. The flu can become pneumonia if left untreated.
There are two types of diabetes, type 1, which typically affects young adults and children, and type 2, the more common strain of diabetes, which affects all age groups. Insulin ineffectiveness creates both forms; in type 1, the body produces no insulin. In type 2, the body cannot properly use insulin. This results in blood glucose (sugar) levels that are higher than normal.
- Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, kills 84,767 people each year. Alzheimer’s, a general term for memory loss, drastically impairs a person’s ability to go about their daily lives, getting progressively worse with time.
- Stroke (Cerebrovascular Diseases)
There are different forms of strokes, but together they kill about 128,978 people a year. A stroke is a serious lack of blood to the brain, which kills brain cells and causes a person to lose consciousness.
- Accidents (Unintentional Injuries)
General accidents, like falling, traffic accidents, and unintentional poisoning. According to the CDC all unintentional injuries resulted in 130,557 deaths a year.
- Chronic lower respiratory diseases
Of the many chronic lower respiratory diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the one that’s commonly fatal. COPD typically comes from cigarette smoking.
Each year, over 1 million people in the United States are diagnosed with Cancer. There are over 100 different kinds and cancer kills 584,881 people annually.
- Heart disease
The number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States? Heart Disease. It kills about 611,105 people annually. Despite this high death toll, many forms are either entirely prevented or else treatable with healthy lifestyle choices.