Rates for five of the top 15 causes of death have fallen significantly over the past year, though overall lifespan has stayed the same, a government analysis found.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compared state death records from 2010 and 2011 and noted the highest rates of decline were for deaths associated with heart disease (-3%), cancer (-2.4%), stroke (3.1%), Alzheimer’s disease (-2%) and kidney-related diseases (-12.4%). The CDC said changes in coding for kidney-related diseases account for that category’s significant drop, WebMD reported.
They note, however, that the dip in heart- and cancer-related deaths are notable because they represented 47% of all U.S. deaths in 2011. The average life expectancy stayed at 78.7 years, according to CDC data.