On Wednesday January 11, 2012 the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released the latest mortality data for the nation. In the report it was revealed that cancer and heart disease are still the number two killers for people living in the U.S.--accounting for almost all deaths in 2010. Significantly, homicide fell out of the top 15 leading causes of death for the first time since 1965, replaced by pneumonitis as the 15th leading cause. Also, life expectancy at birth increased to 78.7 years in 2010, up slightly from 78.6 years in 2009.
Also outlined in the NCHS mortality report: age-adjusted death rates declined significantly between 2009 and 2010 for 7 of the 15 leading causes of death: heart disease (declined by 2.4 percent), cancer (0.6 percent), chronic lower respiratory diseases (1.4 percent), stroke (1.5 percent), accidents/unintentional injuries (1.1 percent), influenza and pneumonia (8.5 percent), and septicemia (3.6 percent).
Age-adjusted death rates increased for 5 leading causes in 2010: Alzheimer’s disease, kidney disease, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, Parkinson's disease, and pneumonitis. Subsequently, mortality for diabetes, suicide, and hypertension did not change significantly from 2009 to 2010.
The age-adjusted death rate for the U.S. population did reach a record low in 2010, of 746.2 deaths per 100,000 U.S. standard population which is 0.5 percent lower than the 2009 rate of 749.6. Overall the statistics listed 2,465,936 deaths in the United States in 2010.
The report is based on information retrieved from over 98 percent of death certificates provided to NCHS through the National Vital Statistics System from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.