10 Leading Causes of Death in the U.S., 2004

Leading causes of death differ somewhat by age, sex, and race. In 2004, as in previous years, accidents were the leading cause of death for those under 34 years, while in older age groups, chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease were the leading causes. The top two causes for males and females-heart disease and cancer-are exactly the same. However, suicide ranked 8th for males but was not ranked among the ten leading causes for females.

Rank1 Causes of death All persons Causes of death Male Causes of death Female
All causes 2,397,615 All causes 1,181,668 All causes 1,215,947
1. Diseases of heart 652,486 Diseases of heart 321,973 Diseases of heart 330,513
2. Malignant neoplasms (cancer) 553,888 Malignant neoplasms (cancer) 286,830 Malignant neoplasms (cancer) 267,058
3. Cerebrovascular diseases 150,074 Unintentional injuries 72,050 Cerebrovascular diseases 91,274
4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases 121,987 Cerebrovascular diseases 58,800 Chronic lower respiratory diseases 63,341
5. Unintentional injuries 112,012 Chronic lower respiratory diseases 58,646 Alzheimer's disease 46,991
6. Diabetes mellitus 73,138 Diabetes mellitus 35,267 Unintentional injuries 39,962
7. Alzheimer's disease 65,965 Influenza and pneumonia 26,861 Diabetes mellitus 37,871
8. Influenza and pneumonia 59,664 Suicide 25,566 Influenza and pneumonia 32,803
9. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis 42,480 Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis 20,370 Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis 22,110
10. Septicemia 33,373 Alzheimer's disease 18,974 Septicemia 18,362
Source: U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, Health, United States, 2007.

Deaths by Major Causes, 1960-2004 Mortality 10 Leading Causes of Death in the U.S., 2004