UPDATED: Mar 26, 2020
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Each year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) releases the top causes of death for Americans. The leading causes of American deaths continue to be non-infectious diseases like heart disease, strokes and lung diseases. Here are the top 15 causes of death:
1. Heart Disease
Heart disease, or cardiovascular disease, is associated with several problems related to plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries, or atherosclerosis. As the plaque builds up, the arteries narrow, making it more difficult for blood to flow and creating a risk for heart attack or stroke.
2. Malignant Neoplasms
Cancer, or malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body.
3. Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases
Chronic lower respiratory diseases are a diverse group of disorders involving impairment of lung function. The primary chronic lower respiratory diseases include chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Each is characterized by a shortness of breath caused by airway obstruction.
4. Cerebrovascular Diseases
Cerebrovascular Disease, or stroke, is the rapid loss of brain function due to a disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. The result can often lead to the inability to move limbs on one side of the body.
Automobile accidents top the list of deadliest accidents year-after-year.
6. Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia that impacts daily living through memory loss and cognitive changes. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease usually develop slowly and worsen over time, progressing from mild forgetfulness to widespread brain impairment.
7. Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases involving defects in insulin production, insulin action or both. Serious complications may result from diabetes, but there are preventative measures and treatments that can be used to manage complications caused by the disease.
8. Nephrotic Syndrome and Nephrosis
Nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis, or kidney disease, includes conditions that damage your kidneys and decrease their ability function. As the disease progresses, you may develop complications like high blood pressure, anemia, weak bones, poor nutritional health and nerve damage.
9. Influenza and Pneumonia
Influenza, or the flu, is an infection mainly affecting the nose, throat, airways, and lungs. It is caused by a virus and causes mild to severe illness. High-risk patients such the elderly, infants and those with health conditions are at high risk for serious complications, including pneumonia.
Septicemia is an inflammatory response by the immune system to microbes in the blood, urine, lungs, skin or other tissues. It often occurs with severe infections and progressively gets worse.
12. Chronic Liver Disease and Cirrhosis
Cirrhosis is the result of chronic liver damage caused by chronic liver diseases. Common causes of liver disease include long-term alcohol abuse, autoimmune disorders of the liver and Hepatitis B and C.
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is elevated. This requires the heart to work harder than normal to circulate blood through the blood vessels.
14. Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a disabling condition of the brain characterized by shaking, stiffness and loss of balance. Many of these symptoms are due to the loss of certain nerves in the brain.
Pneumonitis is inflammation of the lungs due to breathing in a foreign substance, usually certain types of dust, fungus, or molds. The most common symptom of pneumonitis is difficulty breathing accompanied by a cough.
The above causes of death can make getting term life insurance tricky. It is because of high death rates that insurance companies are more apt to ask you questions about your health and family history. For more information check out our blog Term Life Insurance: Why Your Family History Matters.