Where you live has a good deal to do with how you will die. In the United States, the top two causes of death are responsible for more than 50 percent of the annual death toll. In the world at large, there's a lot more variety in how you meet your Maker. Here is our list of the 15 most common causes of death in the United States:

Cause
Percent of Total
1. Diseases of the heart
28.5
2. Malignant tumors 22.8
3. Cerebrovascular diseases 6.7
4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases 5.1
5. Accidents (unintentional injuries) 4.4
6. Diabetes mellitus 3.0
7. Influenza and pneumonia 2.7
8. Alzheimer's disease 2.4
9. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis 1.7
10. Septicemia (blood poisoning) 1.4
11. Suicide 1.3
12. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis 1.1
13. Primary hypertension and hypertensive renal disease 0.8
14. Parkinson's disease (tied) 0.7
15. Homicide (tied) 0.7

Source: CDC/NHS, National Vital Statistics System

 

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS:

Helen Davies, Marjorie Dorfman, Mary Fons, Deborah Hawkins, Martin Hintz, Linnea Lundgren, David Priess, Julia Clark Robinson, Paul Seaburn, Heidi Stevens, and Steve Theunissen