U.S. Death Rates Higher, According to Early Preliminary Data

An early analysis of death records from October 2014 thru September 2015 suggests that death rates in the U.S. are higher than they were at the same point in 2014.

NCHS found that the age-adjusted death rate in the U.S. for the 12 month period ending with the third quarter of 2015 was 731.4 deaths per 100,000 population, compared to a rate of nearly 720 per 100,000 during the same period a year earlier.

The findings are part of the “Vital Statistics Rapid Release Program,” a web-based quarterly release of data on various leading causes of death in the U.S. This preliminary analysis by NCHS shows that mortality rates were higher from October 2014-September 2015 compared to the same period the year before for many leading causes of death, including:

  • Heart Disease (168 deaths/100,000 for 12 months ending in the third quarter 2015 vs. approximately 166/100,000 in 2014)
  • Stroke (37.5 in 2015 vs. 35.9 in 2014)
  • Alzheimer’s disease (28.9 in 2015 vs. 24.2 in 2014)
  • Chronic Liver Disease/Cirrhosis (10.6 in 2015 vs. 10.3 in 2014)
  • Parkinson’s Disease (7.7 in 2015 vs. 7.3 in 2014)

Mortality rates remained the same or were lower in the 12 months ending with the third quarter of 2015 for a few causes of death:

  • Cancer (158.7 deaths/per 100,000 12 months ending in the third quarter 2015 vs. 161.2/100,000 in 2014)
  • Diabetes (21.2 in 2015 vs. 20.9 in 2014)
  • HIV (1.9 in 2015 vs. 2.0 in 2014)

The entire findings can be viewed at http://www.cdc.gov/pressroom/VSS_RR_216.pdf and will be available upon release at the following address: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/vsrr/mortality-dashboard.htm.

These provisional estimates are based on all complete death records received and processed by NCHS as of a specified cutoff date. National provisional estimates include events occurring only within the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

NCHS receives the death records and monthly provisional occurrence counts from state vital registration systems through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. A complete death record includes both demographic and medical information.

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