The leading killers of Americans continue to be non-infectious diseases like heart disease, strokes and lung diseases.
But one of the perpetual causes of death fell off the top 15 list this year: Homicides. “Most of the changes were positive,” said Sherry Murphy, a statistician at the National Center of Health Statistics and one of the authors of the annual mortality report.
“Homicides fell from among the 15 leading causes for the first time since 1965”.
The rest of the common killers remained fairly consistent compared with 2009, according to the report released Wednesday. The death rate in the United States dropped slightly from 749.6 deaths per 100,000 in 2009 to 746.2 deaths per 100,000.
The life expectancy in the United States inched up a tiny bit from 78.6 years in 2009 to 78.7 years in 2010.
The leading causes of death in 2010 remained nearly the same as in 2009 – kidney diseases became the 8th leading cause of death – it had been 9th in the previous year. It swapped spots with flu and pneumonia.
The 15th leading killer is pneumonitis due to solids and liquids, an illness more likely to strike the elderly. This is inflammation of the lungs due to inhaling substance inside the lung such as dust, mold or inhalants.
Here are the top 15 killers:
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