AIDS Leaves List of Top Killers
The rate of deaths associated with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS last year dropped to the lowest level since 1987, according to figures released by the federal government last week.
The age-adjusted death rate linked to HIV infection dropped 21 percent to 4.6 per 100,000 persons in 1998, on the heels of a 48 percent decline from 1996 to 1997. With the recent declines, the disease moved off the list of the 15 leading causes of death in the United States for the first time since 1987.
The new data were published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of its report "Births and Deaths: Preliminary Data for 1998."
Leading Causes of U.S. Deaths, 1998
Causes of death Number
Heart Disease 724,269
Chronic lung obstruction 114,381
Pneumonia and influenza 94,828
Diabetes mellitus 64,574
Kidney disease 26,295
Chronic liver disease 24,936
Blood poisoning 23,643
Alzheimer's disease 22,824
Clogged or blocked arteries 15,424
SOURCE: National Center for Health Statistics