Can you name the leading causes of death in the United States? Probably — cancer, heart disease, car accidents, strokes … Ultimately, the way most of us will go is not exactly surprising. But when you delve a little deeper into the statistics about the ways people die, there are plenty of facts that don’t line up with popular ideas of death. Read on for the ways people really die.
Suicide Over Homicide.
It may not seem like it if you turn on the news, but, in the United States and across the globe, suicides far outnumber homicides. In the U.S., suicides outrank homicides by at least 1/3, and are even more common than car accidents and drug overdoses. In fact, it’s the leading cause of injury-related death in the nation.
Sepsis, a condition that most often occurs in people already being treated for an unrelated problem in a hospital, is one of the leading causes of death in the United States across age groups. Sepsis is your immune system’s response to an infection, and is the killer of more hospital patients than any other cause. Because so many people who die from septic shock are being treated for other serious conditions, it is likely that it is even more common than reported.
For many people, having the flu is little more than a temporary bed-ridden annoyance. But the flu can be deadly — very, very deadly. Each year, 250,000-500,000 die due to seasonal influenza. The flu is one of the leading causes of death in older folks, young children, and people with already compromised immune systems.
Logging is the Most Dangerous Job.
People who work in the logging industry have the highest on-the-job mortality rates. When you’re working with heavy equipment in remote wilderness, where many loggers do, it’s little surprise that forestry work is so dangerous.
Unintentional Injuries Most Common Under Age 44.
When you’re under 44, the most common way to die is through some sort of accident. From drug overdoses to car wrecks, if you’re young, it’s not nearly as likely that your health that will be responsible for your early death.
The Bubonic Plague Still Kills.
If you thought black death went away with the modern age, you’d be very, very wrong. Though it’s exceedingly rare, the bacteria that causes the bubonic plague is still around, and a handful of cases are diagnosed in the United States, mostly in the Southwest, each year. The treatment for the disease has made it mostly treatable, although one in seven people diagnosed with the bubonic plague die from it.
Legal Drugs Are the Biggest Killers.
In 2009, the United States hit a major milestone: deaths due to drug overdoses surpassed deaths due to car accidents for the first time in history. And a lot of that is due not to illegal street drugs like cocaine and heroin, but do to legal prescription painkiller abuse. In fact, medicines like oxycontin and Vicodin kill more people than heroin and cocaine combined.
Heart Disease in Women.
Heart disease tends to be seen as a male problem — but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, heart disease kills more women than men. It also kills more women than all forms of cancer combined, and is the reason 1 in 3 women die in the United States.
Falling in Seniors.
Here’s a shocking statistic: 1 in 3 seniors fall each year. Another? Falls are responsible for 1 in 3 emergency room visits each year. It’s also, unsurprisingly, the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for people over the age of 65.
Source: Katie Waldek, Care2.com