Heart disease is the #1 reason for deaths in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 611,105 people died of heart disease in 2013. This is huge but this is just the national average. If you look at individual states, you will get a different picture about what’s responsible for people’s demise. But before we continue, understand that this is not a list of the most common causes of death in each state. For example, although Nevada is listed beneath the ominous sounding “legal intervention”, it does not mean that most people in Nevada are killed by police officers. It only means that Nevada is above the national average. In other words, it stands out. Since there are only 23 notable distinctions, for numbers 1 and 2 we revert to the national averages on which this list is based. These are the 25 most distinctive causes of death in each American state.
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Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that mainly affects the lungs. Although it used to be rare in developed countries it has been on the rise again in recent years.
State(s): Washington, Missouri
Meningococci are bacteria that can cause serious infections, the most common being meningitis.
State(s): New Jersey
Septicemia is bacteria in the blood that often occurs with severe infections.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria that can affect both men and women.
State(s): Florida, Washington D.C.
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It kills or damages the cells of the immune system. AIDS is the most advanced stage.
Unspecified malignant neoplasms of lymphoid, hematopoietic, and related tissue
Basically this refers to tumors that grow in your bone marrow, white blood cells, and lymphatic system.
State(s): North Carolina, Vermont, New Hampshire, Hawaii
This relates to any diseases caused by a lack of essential nutrients in the diet (iron deficiency anaemia for example).
Other Acute Ischemic Heart Diseases
State(s): South Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia
This refers to heart diseases such as cardiomyopathy and rheumatic heart disease.
Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease
State(s): Michigan, Delaware
Also known as coronary heart disease, this is actually the leading cause of death worldwide.
Atherosclerosis is when an artery wall thickens as a result of the accumulation of white blood cells.
State(s): North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Maine
Commonly known as the flu, influenza is an infectious disease that can be deadly in high risk populations.
Other acute lower respiratory infections
State(s): Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio
While acute lower respiratory infection typically refers to pneumonia, the “other” here points to things like lung abscesses or acute bronchitis.
Pneumoconioses and chemical effects
State(s): West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky
Pneumoconioses is an occupational lung disease caused by the inhalation of dust, quite often in mines.
Acute and rapidly progressive nephritic and nephrotic syndrome
Essentially this is a collection of disorders affecting the kidneys.
Other disorders of the kidney
Basically this will refer to disorders affecting the kidneys other than the two we just mentioned.
Hyperplasia of prostate
This refers to the enlargement of the prostate gland in men.
Inflammatory diseases of female pelvic organs
State(s): New York, Connecticut
Commonly called PID (pelvic inflammatory disease), this is one of the most serious complications of a sexually transmitted disease in women.
Symptoms, signs, and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified
This is the ultimate clinical catch all. Basically any medical issue that isn’t already on this list.
State(s): Alaska, Idaho
This can mean anything from boating and airplane accidents to car crashes.
Accidental discharge of firearms
State(s): Alabama, Tennessee
This does not include homicide and suicide.
State(s): Oregon, Nevada
Legal intervention refers to law enforcement related deaths.
Discharge of firearms, undetermined intent
State(s): New Mexico
This can potentially encompass accidental discharge, homicide, and suicide.
Other and unspecified events of undetermined intent
State(s): Maryland, Indiana, Utah, Rhode Island, Massachusetts
Here is another catch all for both traumatic and medical injuries.
At this point we’ve covered all 50 states. Each state is above the national average in some area but what is the leading average cause of death in the US? Since we’re on number 2, that’s what we went with. Cancer is the second leading cause of death claiming 584,881 lives every year.
As we mentioned earlier, heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and the United States is no different. It kills 611,105 people every year.