Here are some stats to make you feel small: there are more than 320 million people in the United States, and everyday that number is depleted by the death of around 7,000. That adds up to around 2.6 million a year, many of which are dying from one of these causes.
Heart Disease and Cancer
The biggest killer in the United States right now is heart disease. We have come on great leaps and bounds in the treatment of cancer (more people die from the disease than ever before, but only because we’re living longer) but we’re still falling behind when it comes to heart disease.
Combined, these two issues account for 46% of all deaths in the United States. In other words, the chances that you will die from one of these diseases is akin to a coin flip.
Both can be prevented by making diet and lifestyle changes and sticking with them over the long haul, but both can also be the result of aging and bad luck.
In many third-world countries, diarrhea and malaria make it onto the top the lists of causes of death. In the USA none of those are present, but the fact that both chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes are on the list speaks volumes for our health problems as a society.
Our reliance on processed food and an industry that has been spoon feeding us refined sugars for decades is why the rate of diabetes in the US is higher than many other developed nations. In fact, you won’t even find this listed as a major cause of death in many European countries, yet in the US it sits in seventh, taking nearly 80,000 lives a year.
More worryingly, Alzheimer’s disease and strokes are 6th and 5th respectively. The good news is that our aging population could be the reason for such a high rate of Alzheimer’s; the bad news is that we have one of the highest rates of the disease anywhere in the world.
Accidents and Suicide
It seems that every week there is a new major incident in the United States, whether it be a school shooting, a racist attack, or an assault on the very fabric of American society. You could be forgiven for thinking that the country was at is lowest point, that the risk of dying from violent crime was higher than ever, but in actual fact it’s not even in the top ten common causes of death.
In fact, we’re much more likely to take our own lives than have them taken by others, with road accidents and workplace accidents causing over 140,000+ deaths a year and suicide accounting for over 40,000.
As you can see from these stats provided by New Mexico Criminal Law Offices, assault and violent crime are still something we need to be countering, but it seems that accident prevention and mental health support are more of a concern right now.
Pneumonia and Influenza
Influenza is accepted as a part of life when you’re young. It happens every few years, you shake it off and you get on with things. When you’re very young or very old, however, it’s a different story.
Influenza and pneumonia related to influenza account for nearly 60,000 deaths a year in the United States. For someone who is frail, it cannot be easily shaken off and can be deadly, as these figures prove.