Mortality trends by race and ethnicity among adults aged 25 and over: United States, 2000–2017

July 23, 2019

Questions for Lead Author Sally Curtin, Health Statistician, of “Mortality trends by race and ethnicity among adults aged 25 and over: United States, 2000–2017.”

Q: What is different in this report from what you released in the 2017 final deaths report?

SC: The 2017 final death report shows death rates by race and ethnicity for 5- and 10-year age groups.  The difference is that we are using broad age groups to categorize adults and examining mortality trends:

  • Young adults 25-44
  • Middle-aged 45-64
  • Elderly 65+

Q: Why did you decide to focus on death rates by race and ethnicity for this report?

SC: Compared with death rates for non-Hispanic white (NHW) adults, traditionally rates for non-Hispanic black (NHB) have been the higher while rates for Hispanic have been lower.  We wanted to see if these differences were narrowing or widening.  We also wanted to examine whether trends were similar among the race/ethnicity groups for the three age groups of adults.

Q: How did the data vary by age groups?

SC: Trends differed by age group.  For NHW, NHB and Hispanic, all groups experienced increases over the period for young adults 25-44, NHW and NHB experienced increases for middle-aged adults 45-64, and all groups experienced declines in death rates for the elderly.

Q: Was there a specific finding in your report that surprised you?

SC: A couple of very interesting findings. First, all race/ethnicity groups are seeing increases in death rates for young adults aged 25-44, by 21% since 2012 for NHW and NHB.  Also, death rates for elderly adults ages 65+ are now higher for NHW than NHB.

Q: Why did the death rate decline for U.S. Hispanic adults?

SC: Some of the causes of death which have caused the rates to stop declining, or even to increase, among NHW and NHB have not affected Hispanic adults similarly.  For example, a recent report showed that heart disease death rates have been increasing among middle-aged NHW and NHB adults, but not for Hispanic adults.




Unintentional Injury Death Rates in Rural and Urban Areas: United States, 1999–2017

July 16, 2019

Questions for Lead Author Henry Olaisen, EIS Fellow, of “Unintentional Injury Death Rates in Rural and Urban Areas: United States, 1999–2017.”

Q: Can you define what an unintentional injury death is?  Is there a difference in the term accidental death?

HO: Unintentional injury deaths consist of those deaths involving injuries for which there are no evidence of predetermined intent, meaning intention of harm to self or others. In 2017, the leading causes of unintentional deaths in the U.S. were drug overdose, motor vehicle crashes, and falls.

Unintentional injury deaths are a subset of injury deaths, and exclude those that are intentional (e.g. where there is intent to harm) and those where intent is unknown. Among drug overdose deaths, unintentional drug deaths comprise 87% of all deaths due to overdose.

Q: Do you have data that directly corresponds with this report that goes back further than 1999?

HO: We here at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics have data dating back to 1959. Given our focus on unintentional injury and the changing patterns of where people live and work in the U.S., we focused on the most recent 18 years, as they are trend patterns that not only tell an important story, but can guide decision-makers and inform new policies to avoid these types of preventable deaths in the near future.

Q: Was there a specific finding in your report that surprised you?

HO: We were surprised that drug overdose death rates are not only growing fastest in the last three years in suburban counties (“large fringe counties”), but that the rate of drug overdose deaths is now (in 2017) highest in small metro and suburban counties(“large fringe counties), and lowest in rural counties.

Q: Why do you think there is a difference in unintentional injury deaths from rural and urban areas?

HO: We observed differences in trends and patterns of unintentional injury deaths using mortality data from the   National Center for Health Statistics. Determining the reasons for the difference is a really important next step, and not something we looked at in this report. We at the National Center for Health Statistics encourage scientists to use these data to help us understand the underlying causes for these observed trends and patterns.

Q: What is the take home message for this report?

HO: Unintentional injury death rates – which are preventable deaths, are on the rise, with a steeper increase since 2014. Between 2014 and 2017, large fringe metro counties had the largest increase in unintentional drug overdose rates; small metro had the largest increase in motor vehicle death rates; and rural counties had the largest increase in death rates due to unintentional falls. While motor vehicle deaths have historically been the leading cause of unintentional deaths for several decades, in 2013 unintentional overdose deaths became the leading cause of unintentional deaths.

QuickStats: Age-Adjusted Death Rates from Female Breast Cancer by State — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2017

July 12, 2019

In 2017, the overall age-adjusted death rate for female breast cancer was 19.9 per 100,000 population.

The highest death rates were in Mississippi (25.5), DC (24.3), and Louisiana (23.6).

The lowest death rates were in Hawaii (15.6), Alaska (16.3), New Hampshire (16.3), Wyoming (16.5), Rhode Island (16.6), Minnesota (16.7), South Dakota (17.3), Wisconsin (17.4), and Vermont (17.4).

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System, mortality file.

QuickStats: Average Daily Number of Deaths, by Month — United States, 2017

July 5, 2019

In 2017, an average of 7,708 deaths occurred each day.

January, February, and December were the months with the highest average daily number of deaths (8,478, 8,351, and 8,344, respectively).

June, July, and August were the months with the lowest average daily number of deaths (7,298, 7,157, and 7,158, respectively).

Source: National Vital Statistics System. Underlying cause of death data, 1999–2017.

Fact or Fiction: Did life Expectancy in America decline in 2017 for the third consecutive year?

June 25, 2019

Source: National Vital Statistics System, Mortality.

2017 Final Deaths, Leading Causes of Death and Life Tables Reports Released

June 24, 2019

NCHS released a report that presents the final 2017 data on U.S. deaths, death rates, life expectancy, infant mortality, and trends, by selected characteristics such as age, sex, Hispanic origin and race, state of residence, and cause of death.

Key Findings:

  • In 2017, a total of 2,813,503 deaths were reported in the United States.
  • The age-adjusted death rate was 731.9 deaths per 100,000 U.S. standard population, an increase of 0.4% from the 2016 rate.
  • Life expectancy at birth was 78.6 years, a decrease of 0.1 year from the 2016 rate.
  • Life expectancy decreased from 2016 to 2017 for non-Hispanic white males (0.1 year) and non-Hispanic black males (0.1), and increased for non-Hispanic black females (0.1).
  • Age-specific death rates increased in 2017 from 2016 for age groups 25–34, 35–44, and 85 and over, and decreased for age groups under 1 and 45–54.
  • The 15 leading causes of death in 2017 remained the same as in 2016 although, two causes exchanged ranks.
  • Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, the 12th leading cause of death in 2016, became the 11th leading cause of death in 2017, while Septicemia, the 11th leading cause of death in 2016, became the 12th leading cause of death in 2017.
  • The infant mortality rate, 5.79 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2017, did not change significantly from the rate of 5.87 in 2016.

NCHS also released the 2017 U.S. Life Tables and Leading Causes of Death Reports.

QuickStats: Death Rates from Diabetes Mellitus as Underlying or Contributing Cause Among Adults Aged 65 Years or Older, by Race/Ethnicity

June 21, 2019

During 2004–2017, the death rate from diabetes mellitus as underlying or contributing cause among adults aged 65 years or older decreased from 477.5 per 100,000 in 2004 to 418.1 in 2017.

Throughout this period, the death rate was highest among non-Hispanic black adults and lowest among non-Hispanic white adults.

During 2004–2017, the death rate decreased from 438.3 per 100,000 to 391.1 among non-Hispanic white adults, from 602.0 to 485.7 among Hispanic adults, and from 804.3 to 607.0 among non-Hispanic black adults.

Source: National Vital Statistics System, 2004–2017.