How we die (in one more chart)

August 1, 2012

A few weeks ago we looked at New England Journal of Medicine data on how the leading causes of death have changed over the past century (the takeaway: communicable diseases like the flu kill us less, heart disease kills us more).

Aaron Carroll flags new CDC data that breaks down the numbers in a different way, looking at the top causes of death by age group:

Carroll captions:

If you’re 65 or older, it’s disease that’s gonna get you. But as you get younger, the causes of death leave the strictly medical world. For those less than 25 years of age, the top three causes of death are, in order: accidents, homicide, and suicide. Together, these three categories cause 63% of all deaths.

They’re largely preventable. But they won’t be cured by insurance, by drugs, or by medical technology. As we continue to focus on ways to improve the health care system, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that for children, violence and accidents are – by far – the most likely thing to kill you.

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Dylan Matthews · August 1, 2012