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Causes of death, before COVID-19

Causes of death, before COVID-19

(Illustration by Krieg Barrie)


The number of Americans who died from heart disease in 2018, making it the leading cause of death that year. Heart disease was the leading cause of death for both men and women but was more likely to kill men. Smokers, those who were obese, those who were over 55 years old, and those with a family history of heart disease were also at higher risk of dying from heart disease. The category most like COVID-19—influenza and pneumonia—killed 59,120 Americans and was the eighth leading cause of death. The tenth leading cause of death was suicide, with 48,344 deaths, up from 47,173 in 2017.


The number of deaths from cancer in 2018, the second leading cause of death during that year. The number was virtually unchanged from 599,108 deaths in 2017.


The number of deaths from unintentional injuries in 2018, making accidents the third leading cause of death.


The number of deaths from chronic lower respiratory diseases in 2018, making these diseases the fourth leading cause of death. This category includes emphysema, asthma, and pulmonary hypertension.


The number of deaths from cerebrovascular diseases (or strokes) in 2018, making strokes the fifth leading cause of death.

—All data are from the National Center for Health Statistics


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    Posted: Wed, 04/08/2020 01:29 pm

    The number of deaths due to MURDER?  Not just guns, because there are other causes. 

    The number of deaths due to ABORTION?

    Posted: Wed, 04/08/2020 01:42 pm

    Thank you for that info. It helps a lot.

  • Timothy K
    Posted: Wed, 04/08/2020 02:47 pm

    Look up the statistics. Abortion is the leading cause of death in the United States, and has been for several years.

  • Timothy K
    Posted: Fri, 04/10/2020 07:47 pm

    What about the number of deaths by abortion?


  • MikeD
    Posted: Thu, 04/30/2020 10:01 pm

    I am reading this on April 30. This morning's stats from the New York Times has the number of American deaths from COVID-19 as 63,007. A very rough estimate for an annual total might take that as 63,007 / 2 (assume all deaths were in March and April) and multiply by 12. This would be 378,042 COVID-19 deaths for a year. Compared to the other leading causes of death, COVID-19 is huge, but it may not be the crisis some think it is. The next time your news media shows a picture of a hearse loading or unloading a coffin in front of a hospital, ask yourself what was the cause of that presumed death. The reporter and editor probably don't know.

    Thanks for the info!