Death rates from heart disease and cancer decline

Sunday, March 20, 2005

March 21, 2005

ATLANTA -  Deaths from heart disease and cancer declined by 3.6% and 2.2% respectively from 2002 to 2003, according to the latest U.S. mortality statistics released earlier this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Heart disease and cancer, the two leading causes of death, account for more than half of all death in the United each year.
Mortality increased for the following leading causes of death: Alzheimer’s disease (5.9%), kidney disease (2.1%), hypertension (5.7%), and Parkinson’s disease (3.4%).
Deaths from respiratory illnesses declined by 0.7%. Declines were also documented for stroke (4.6 percent), suicide (3.7 percent), flu/pneumonia (3.1 percent), chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (2.1 percent), and accidents/unintentional injuries (2.2. percent).
The gap between male and female life expectancy closed from 5.4 years in 2002 to 5.3 years in 2003, continuing a trend toward narrowing since the peak gap of 7.8 years in 1979. Record-highlife expectancies were found for white males (75.4 years) and black males (69.2 males), as well as for white females (80.5 years) and black females (76.1 years).
Life expectancy for Americans has reached an all-time high. The report, “Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2003,” prepared by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), shows life expectancy at 77.6 years in 2003, up from 77.3 in 2002.
The preliminary age-adjusted death rate in the U.S. reached an all-time low in 2003 of 831.2 deaths per 100,000 population.
After the first infant mortality rate increase in 44 years in 2002, the rate for 2003 did not change significantly (6.9 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2003 compared to a rate of 7.0 per 1,000 in 2002.)
Firearm mortality dropped nearly 3 percent between 2002 and 2003.
The preliminary age-adjusted death rate for HIV declined 4.1 percent between 2002 and 2003, continuing a downward trend observed since 1994.
Age-adjusted death rates from alcohol dropped 4.3 percent and the rate for drug-related deaths fell 3.3 percent in 2003.
The report is based on data recorded from approximately 93 percent of state death certificates issued in 2003. “Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2003” is available at the CDC/NCHS Web site.