by Thilaka Ravi on  January 12, 2012 at 8:41 AM General Health News
Deaths from Murder Down, Alzheimer's Up in US
Murder is not anymore on the top 15 causes of death in the United States for the first time since 1965, while the death rate for Alzheimer's disease has gone up, according to official data released Wednesday.

Homicide was replaced at number 15 by pneumonitis, a form of lung disease caused by inhaling food, liquids or vomit, said the report by the National Center for Health Statistics, which detailed causes of deaths in 2010.

The top two causes of death in America remain heart disease followed by cancer. Together they accounted for 47 percent of all deaths.

With the exception of murder, the rest of the top 15 was little changed, although kidney disease rose to eighth while influenza and pneumonia dropped to ninth.

Alzheimer's disease was the sixth leading cause of death, while the age-adjusted death rate for the most common form of dementia rose by 3.3 percent as the US population ages.

Other spikes in death rate, or the number of deaths for a certain cause per 1,000 or 100,000 members of the population, were seen for chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (3.3 percent) and Parkinson's disease (4.6 percent).

"Mortality for diabetes, suicide, and hypertension did not change significantly from 2009 to 2010," said the report.

Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death, while suicide came in 10th and hypertension ranked 13th.

Life expectancy for Americans ticked slightly upward to 78.7 years in 2010, up from 78.6 years in 2009.

And the overall death rate fell to a record low of 746.2 deaths per 100,000, down from 749.6 in 2009, for a change of 0.5 percent.

A total of 2,465,936 people died in the United States in 2010, said the preliminary report based on 98 percent of death certificates provided to NCHS through the National Vital Statistics System.

Source: AFP

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