10 Leading Causes of Death in the U.S., 2006

Leading causes of death differ somewhat by age, sex, and race. In 2006, 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.

Rank Causes of death All persons Causes of death Male Causes of death Female
All causes 2,426,264 All causes 1,201,942 All causes 1,224,322
1. Diseases of heart 631,636 Diseases of heart 315,706 Diseases of heart 315,930
2. Malignant neoplasms (cancer) 559,888 Malignant neoplasms (cancer) 290,069 Malignant neoplasms (cancer) 269,819
3. Cerebrovascular diseases 137,119 Cerebrovascular diseases 54,524 Cerebrovascular diseases 82,595
4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases 124,583 Chronic lower respiratory diseases 59,260 Chronic lower respiratory diseases 65,323
5. Unintentional injuries 121,599 Unintentional injuries 78,941 Unintentional injuries 42,658
6. Diabetes mellitus 72,449 Diabetes mellitus 36,006 Diabetes mellitus 36,443
7. Alzheimer's disease 72,432 Alzheimer's disease 21,151 Alzheimer's disease 51,281
8. Influenza and pneumonia 56,326 Influenza and pneumonia 25,650 Influenza and pneumonia 30,676
9. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis 45,344 Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis 22,094 Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis 23,250
10. Septicemia 34,234 Septicemia 15,522 Septicemia 18,712
Source: U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, Health, United States, 2009.

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