Distinctive Causes of Death in the U.S.

May 15, 2015 | 0 comments

Distinctive ways to die in the United States take many forms. Distinctive mortality can be caused by accidental discharge of firearms… disorders of the kidneys… syphilis… influenza… unspecified acute lower respiratory infections… inflammatory diseases of female pelvic organs… other and unspecified events of undetermined intent and their sequelae (pathological conditions resulting from disease, injury, therapy, or other trauma).

A new paper published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies the most distinctive causes of death in the U.S. between 2001 to 2010. As opposed to the most common causes of death outside of heart disease or cancer, distinctive ways to die stand out most relative to its national average.

According to this story in The Washington Post, syphilis is the most distinctive cause of death in Louisiana, but it only resulted in 22 deaths there over that time period. HIV, the most distinctive cause of death in Florida, was behind 15,000 deaths there.

The map below shows the most distinctive of 113 causes of death published by the National Center for Health Statistics “to present a more nuanced view of mortality variation within the United States than what can be seen by using only the 10 most common causes of death,” the authors write.

Does anyone find it disturbing that the top distinctive cause of death here in New Mexico is legal intervention, with 77 deaths between 2001 to 2010? I’m guessing that means death by police. By the way, according to this map at Slate.com, the most common cause of death outside of heart disease and cancer in New Mexico is accidents.

Map of distinctive deaths

A Good Goodbye