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What Will I Die From?

Statistics can give some frequencies as to what will cause your death. The top causes of death statistics (see below) are relevant overall, and also interesting is the approximate list of conditions sorted by deaths. Both of these indicate your greatest risk is from chronic conditions.

Chronic diseases: Most statistics indicate that you are most likely to die of heart disease (30.3%), cancer (23.0%), stroke (7%), and COPD (5.2%). In fact, the older you get, the greater your likelihood that your cause of death will be some type of chronic condition such as these. Also high on the list for causes of your death are risk factors such as smoking or obesity that contribute to these chronic diseases.

Medical errors: Another less reported possibility is death resulting from a medical error. One study estimated deaths from medical errors at 44,000 to 98,000, putting them right into the top ten list. Another report put deaths at 225,000 annually, which would make them the third leading cause of death. However, this number included 106,000 deaths from "non-error adverse events". In other words, not all these deaths are due to "mistakes" but often to unavoidable drug reactions. Another report estimated 180,000 deaths due to adverse reactions to medications. For more details see medical mistakes introduction and rates of medical mistakes.

Deaths by age: Your age affects your likelihood of dying from certain conditions. Younger people have higher risks of death from accidents, homicide or suicide. Older adults have lower risks for accidents and homicide, although suicide is still a major consideration even for the elderly. For more detailed information about top ten causes of death by age group, see death information pages for newborn, infant, child, teen, 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, 100's.

Infant deaths: Infants have special risks of death mainly related to birth complications or congenital disorders. Leading causes of death for infants include prematurity, birth defects, chromosome conditions, and other complications of childbirth. If you live through your first year, obviously your risk of dying from these conditions is very low.

Top ten causes of death overall: The overall top ten causes of death in the USA in 1999 are listed below. These statistics cover all age groups in aggregate.

For more detailed information about top ten causes of death by age group, see death information pages for newborn, infant, child, teen, 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, 100's.

Deaths by condition: Various information about deaths is available for each disease, from various sources. An approximate list of conditions sorted by deaths is available.

 

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