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The 15 Most Common Ways Americans Die

Tombstones in fall.

You’re a good driver with a healthy respect for everyone you share the road with, but you can’t help but to give a death glare to every chimpanzee who is texting on his phone while driving. It’s only natural to think, “They’re going to kill someone!” Maybe they’ll wipe out while checking Instagram at the intersection, but according to stats from the Centers for Disease Control’s 2015 reports, you are far more likely to die from the following causes:

  1. 1. Diseases of heart. There’s a good reason that “heart healthy” public service announcements are so prevalent across the radio, internet, and television these days — nearly one out of every four Americans kicks the bucket due to a heart-related disease.
  2. Malignant neoplasms. Better known as cancer, this terrible condition is responsible for about 22 percent of all American deaths each year.
  3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases. While cancer and heart disease combined claim the lion’s share with approximately 45.5 percent of all American deaths per year, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, and other lung diseases caused 5.7 percent of deaths in 2015.
  4. Accidents (unintentional injuries). This one surprised me, as accidental deaths, including unintentional falls, traffic accidents, and accidental poisonings, resulted in 5.4 percent of the deaths recorded in 2015.
  5. Cerebrovascular diseases. Most commonly referred to as a stroke, which caused about 5.2 percent of 2015’s victims.
  6. Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia brought about 4.1 percent of all American deaths in 2015.
  7. Diabetes mellitus. The good news is that the remainder of the CDC’s American mortality data features causes of death that are under 3 percent of the total death toll, but diabetes still takes the credit for 2.9 percent of yearly fatalities.
  8. Influenza and pneumonia. The flu and this lung infection are commonly contracted by Americans, and they directly cause 2.1 percent of all deaths in the US.
  9. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis. Kidney-related diseases result in about 1.8 percent of all American mortalities annually.
  10. Intentional self-harm (suicide). Sadly, 1.6% of America’s deaths are suicides.
  11. Septicemia. Also known as sepsis, serious bloodstream infections lead to 1.5% of all American deaths.
  12. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. Often stemming from alcohol use or viral strains of hepatitis, liver diseases cause about 1.5 percent of deaths in the US annually.
  13. Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease: High blood pressure, and the conditions that come with it, cause approximately 1.2 percent of all U.S. deaths.
  14. Parkinson's disease. This serious nervous system disorder is directly responsible for one percent of all mortalities in the United States.
  15. Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids. Various instances of lung inflammation are around .7 percent of yearly American deaths.