Mortality in the United States, 2015

December 8, 2016

Questions for Jiaquan Xu, Epidemiologist and Lead Author on “Mortality in the United States, 2015.”

Q: Is it true that death rates in the U.S. have been increasing over the past few years?

JX: Not exactly. The age-adjusted death rate for total US population increased 1.2% from 724.6 per 100,000 standard population in 2014 to 733.1 in 2015. This was the first significant increase since 1999. We have seen the decrease in mortality for most race/ethnic groups in most of years since 2006. Especially the rates decreased significantly for all male, all female, non-Hispanic white male, non-Hispanic white female, non-Hispanic black male, non-Hispanic black female, Hispanic male, and Hispanic female in 2014 from 2013.


Q: What are some of the reasons why the death rate increased between 2014 and 2015?

JX: We don’t know exactly what caused the increase in mortality in the United States from 2014 to 2015. The results have shown that the age-adjusted death rates increased for 8 (heart disease, chronic lower respiratory, unintentional injuries, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and suicide) of the 10 leading causes of death. Only decrease in mortality among 10 leading causes of death in 2015 from 2014 was for cancer. Death rates increased significantly for 20 states and decreased for 1. The change for the rest of states were not significant.


Q: Do your findings for 2015 suggest we have reached a peak as far as increases in life expectancy goes?

JX: We don’t think we have reached a peak in life expectancy. Many people died of non-age-related causes because they have aged. Those deaths are preventable. For example, there are 146,571 deaths caused by accidents which accounted for 5.4% of total deaths in 2015. About 65% of deaths from these unintentional injuries were those aged under 65. Among accidental deaths, unintentional poisoning accounted for 32.4 % and motor vehicle traffic accidents accounted for 24.5%. We also don’t know if the increase in mortality in 2015 will continue in 2016. But preliminary data have shown that the mortality for most of the 10 leading causes of death in 2015 went down in second quarter from first quarter, 2016 (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/vsrr/mortality-dashboard.htm#trends). But it is too early to say that the mortality in 2016 will go down or continue going up. We will see what happens when the 2016 final file is available.


Q: What accounts for the decline in life expectancy at birth in 2015 from 2014?

JX: For the total US population, life expectancy decreased 0.1 year from 78.9 years in 2014 to 78.8 in 2015, mainly because of increases in mortality from the 13 causes of death among the 15 leading causes of death, such as heart disease, chronic lower respiratory disease, unintentional injuries, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, kidney disease, suicide, septicemia, , chronic liver disease, hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, and pneumonitis due to solids and liquids. From 2014 to 2015, life expectancy decreased 0.1 year for females largely because of increases in mortality from 12 of 15 leading causes of death such as heart disease, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, unintentional injuries, influenza and pneumonia, septicemia, hypertension, chronic liver disease, Parkinson’s disease, suicide, and pneumonitis due solids and liquids. The deaths from those 12 leading causes of death accounted for 52.9% of total female deaths.

Life expectancy declined 0.2 year for males largely because of increases in mortality from 11 of 15 leading causes of death such as unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, suicide, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic liver disease, septicemia, Parkinson’s disease, Homicide, and hypertension. And about 65% of accidental deaths were under 65 years old, while 81% of suicides were aged 15-64, and 95% of homicides were under 65 years. More young people dying from preventable causes drags life expectancy down.


Q: Is it unusual that mortality rates for so many leading causes of death increased in 2015?

JX: We haven’t seen the increase in mortality from so many leading causes of death for a long time. The age-adjusted death rates increased significantly for 3 of 10 leading causes of death in 2014, 2 in 2013, 1 in 2012, and 5 in 2011. It is an unusual year. Again we don’t know why.


Q: Does the increase in mortality among white females suggest another drop in life expectancy for that group?

JX: We don’t have life expectancy numbers for white females yet. It is possible that the life expectancy numbers in 2015 for white women will drop again in 2015 since the life expectancy decreased 0.1 year for all females in 2015 from 2014 and mortality from 12 of 15 leading causes of death for white females increased significantly in 2015 from 2014 (heart disease, chronic lower respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, unintentional injuries, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, hypertension, chronic liver disease, Parkinson’s disease, suicide, pneumonitis due to solids and liquids).

 

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Injury Mortality: United States, 1999–2014

October 21, 2016

NCHS has released new data visualization that depicts injury mortality in the United States from 1999 through 2014.

This storyboard allows the user to select subcategories of injury deaths based on intent and mechanism of injury.

Numbers and rates are provided for the subcategory selected by the user.

The storyboard includes six dashboards. Deaths can be grouped or separated by mechanism of injury, intent of injury, and selected demographics (sex, age group, race and Hispanic origin).

Drop-down boxes across the top of the dashboard control the display of the entire visualization. The dashboards feature:

Rates: Line charts displaying trends for injury death rates. Both fixed and dynamic scale line charts are provided. The fixed scale line chart allows the user to see changes in rates relative to a predefined y-axis, while the dynamic scale line chart adjusts to maximize the visualization of the trend for the options selected. A dialog box on the left of the dashboard allows the user to select among several options for the range of y-axis values used in the fixed scale line chart.

Numbers of deaths: A table describes numbers of injury deaths for selections made at the top of the visualization.


Mortality in the United States, 2014

December 9, 2015

A new NCHS report presents 2014 U.S. final mortality data on deaths and death rates by demographic and medical characteristics.

These data provide information on mortality patterns among U.S. residents by such variables as sex, race and ethnicity, and cause of death. Information on mortality patterns is key to understanding changes in the health and well-being of the U.S. population.

Life expectancy estimates, age-adjusted death rates by race and ethnicity and sex, the 10 leading causes of death, and the 10 leading causes of infant death were analyzed by comparing 2014 final data with 2013 final data.

Findings:

  • Life expectancy for the U.S. population in 2014 was unchanged from 2013 at 78.8 years.
  • The age-adjusted death rate decreased 1.0% to 724.6 deaths per 100,000 standard population in 2014 from 731.9 in 2013.
  • The 10 leading causes of death in 2014 remained the same as in 2013. Age-adjusted death rates significantly decreased for 5 leading causes and significantly increased for 4 leading causes.
  • The infant mortality rate decreased 2.3% to a historic low of 582.1 infant deaths per 100,000 live births. The 10 leading causes of infant death in 2014 remained the same as in 2013.

 


New Estimates of Death Rates for Seven Selected Causes of Death for the First Quarter of 2015

August 19, 2015

NCHS has started a new Vital Statistics Rapid Release (VSRR) program that provides access to the most timely vital statistics for public health surveillance, through 1) pilot releases of Quarterly Provisional Estimates and 2) Special Reports based on a current flow of vital statistics data from state vital records offices. Using the provisional data, NCHS is able to produce much more timely estimates of important health indicators for public health practitioners, researchers, and health policy-makers than would be possible using final annual data.

In this first pilot release of Quarterly Provisional Estimates, NCHS presents estimates of death rates for seven selected causes of death for 2013 and 2014 and the first quarter of 2015. This is the first public release of any mortality data for 2014 or 2015. The estimates are based on all death records received and processed by NCHS as of June 21, 2015, and will be updated each quarter as new provisional mortality data become available. The seven selected causes of death included in this pilot release are influenza and pneumonia, heart disease, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease, falls (for persons aged 65 and over), stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes. These causes have been selected based on their importance for public health surveillance and the feasibility of rapidly producing accurate estimates using the available provisional data. The causes are limited to seven in this first release to maximize timeliness.

Additional causes of death based on provisional mortality data, such as cancer, suicide, and drug poisoning-related deaths, may be added in upcoming quarterly releases after evaluation using the same criteria. Selected estimates based on provisional birth data will also be added in future releases after evaluation.

 


U.S. Mortality Trends Over the Past 113 Years

August 4, 2015

100+ years US mortality trendThis storyboard of U.S. mortality trends over the past 113 years highlights the differences in age-adjusted death rates and life expectancy at birth by race and sex; neonatal mortality and infant mortality rates by race; childhood mortality rates by age; and trends in age-adjusted death rates for five selected major causes of death.

Deaths in the United States, 1900-2013

Data Visualization Gallery


Differences in Stroke Mortality Among Adults Aged 45 and Over: United States, 2010–2013

July 8, 2015

Despite steady decreases in U.S. stroke mortality over the past several decades, stroke remained the fourth leading cause of death during 2010–2012 and the fifth leading cause in 2013.

Most studies have focused on the excess mortality experienced by black persons compared with white persons and by residents of the southeastern states, referred to as the Stroke Belt. Few stroke mortality studies have focused on Asian or Pacific Islander and Hispanic persons or have explored urban–rural differences.

A new NCHS report provides updated information about stroke mortality among U.S. residents aged 45 and over during 2010–2013 by age, race and ethnicity, income,  urban–rural residence, and residence inside or outside the Stroke Belt.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • During 2010–2013, the age-adjusted stroke death rate for non-Hispanic black men aged 45 and over (154.8 deaths per 100,000 population) was 54% to 68% higher than the rates for men of the same age in other race-ethnicity groups. The rate for non-Hispanic black women aged 45 and over was 30% to 61% higher than the rates for women of the same age in other race-ethnicity groups.
  • The age distribution of stroke deaths differed by race and ethnicity.
  • Stroke death rates were 32% higher in counties in the lowest median household income quartile than in counties in the highest income quartile.
  • Nonmetropolitan counties had higher stroke death rates than counties at other urbanization levels.
  • Stroke mortality inside and outside the Stroke Belt differed by race and ethnicity.

 


Mortality in the United States, 2013

January 5, 2015

NCHS released a report last week that presents 2013 U.S. final mortality data on deaths and death rates by demographic and medical characteristics. These data provide information on mortality patterns among U.S. residents by such variables as sex, race and ethnicity, and cause of death.

Information on mortality patterns is key to understanding changes in the health and well-being of the U.S. population. Life expectancy estimates, age-adjusted death rates by race and ethnicity and sex, 10 leading causes of death, and 10 leading causes of infant death were analyzed by comparing 2013 final data with 2012 final data. In 2013, a total of 2,596,993 resident deaths were registered in the United States.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • Life expectancy for the U.S. population in 2013 was unchanged from 2012 at 78.8 years.
  • The age-adjusted death rate of 731.9 per 100,000 standard population did not change significantly from 2012.
  • The 10 leading causes in 2013 remained the same as in 2012, although unintentional injuries became the fourth leading cause, while stroke became the fifth. Age-adjusted death rates significantly decreased for 4 leading causes and increased for 2.
  • The infant mortality rate in 2013 of 596.1 infant deaths per 100,000 live births did not change significantly from the rate in 2012. The 10 leading causes of infant death in 2013 remained the same as in 2012, although maternal complications became the third leading cause, while Sudden infant death syndrome became the fourth.