The PJ Tatler

Name Your Poison: Map Shows Which Special Something Kills Us in All 50 States

What’s the fatal disease that’s totally super-unique about your state? Not just garden-variety heart attacks and cancers — anybody can pass away from those — but that je ne sai quoi that makes your state such a swell place to die? Have a look:

The most common killers in the United States are well known — heart disease and cancer. But there are other, less common causes of death that are actually much more typical in certain states compared with the nation as a whole. Now, a new map shows these so-called “most distinctive” causes of death for each state.

The map is “a somewhat of a colorful and provocative way of starting some conversations and highlighting some unusual things that are going on,” said study co-author Francis Boscoe, a research scientist at New York State Cancer Registry.

In some cases, the most distinctive cause of death was not so surprising, the authors wrote. The flu was the most distinctive cause of death in several northern states, including Maine, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Deaths from plane or boat accidents were the most distinctive causes of death in Alaska and Idaho. And pneumoconioses, a group of lung diseases caused by inhaling certain dusts, were the most distinctive causes of death in mining states, including Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky.

But other findings were more unexpected: Sepsis was the most distinctive cause of death in New Jersey, and deaths by legal intervention — which are deaths caused by law enforcement officers, excluding legal executions — accounted for the most distinctive cause of death in New Mexico, Nevada and Oregon.

Map and more fun facts at the link. Hey, when you gotta go, you gotta go.