Cancer was the number two reported cause of death for Americans in 2014 – behind heart disease – resulting in 591,699 deaths, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Together, cancer and heart disease accounted for 45.9 percent of all deaths in the United States. Compared with 2013, the cancer mortality rate held steady at 22.5 percent of all U.S. deaths, while the proportion of heart disease deaths slightly decreased from 23.5 to 23.4 percent in 2014.
Heart disease and cancer ranked number one and two for both men and women, but both contributed to a slightly greater proportion of deaths among men than women. Among those 45 to 64 years old, however, cancer became the leading cause of death. Cancer was the number one cause of death among Asian Americans (26.8% of deaths in 2014), while heart disease was the number one cause of death among African-American, white, and Native-American individuals. Latinos had a lower proportion of deaths due to heart disease and cancer compared with non-Hispanic African-American and white individuals.
The following were the top 10 causes of death for all Americans in 2014:
- heart disease (23.4%)
- cancer (22.5%)
- chronic lower respiratory diseases (5.6%)
- accidents/unintentional injuries (5.2%)
- stroke/cerebrovascular disease (5.1%)
- Alzheimer’s disease (3.6%)
- diabetes (2.9%)
- influenza and pneumonia (2.1%)
- kidney disease (1.8%)
- suicide/intentional self-harm (1.6%)
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Health, United States, 2015.”