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AZ Progressive

(3,411 posts)
Tue Dec 22, 2015, 10:36 PM Dec 2015

Top 10 causes of death in 1900 vs 1960 vs 2010

This goes to show one way how nowadays is better than it has ever been before.

Click on the link to see detailed charts and graphs on the top 10 causes of death over time.

From: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1113569?query=featured_home&

The top 10 causes of death in the United States:

(All figures are in # of deaths / 100,000)


1900:

1. Influenza & Pneumonia: 202.2
2. Tuberculosis: 194.4
3. Gastrointestinal infections: 142.7
4. Heart Disease: 137.4
5. Cerebrovascular disease (stroke): 106.9
6. Nepropathies: 88.6
7. All Accidents: 72.3
8. Cancer: 64.0
9. Senility: 50.2
10. Diphtheria: 40.3


1960:

1. Heart Disease: 369.0
2. Cancer: 149.2
3. Cerebrovascular disease (stroke): 108.0
4. Disease of early infancy: 37.4
5. Influenza & Pneumonia: 37.3
6. Non-motor vehicle accidents: 31.0
7. Motor vehicle accidents: 21.3
8. Vascular disease: 20.0
9. Diabetes: 16.7
10. Congenital malformations: 12.2



2010:

1. Heart Disease: 192.9
2. Cancer: 185.9
3. Chronic Airways Disease: 44.6
4. Cerebrovascular disease (stroke): 41.8
5. All Accidents: 38.2
6. Alzheimers Disease: 27.0
7. Diabetes: 22.3
8. Nepropathies: 16.3
9. Influenza & Pneumonia: 16.2
10. Suicide: 12.2


Check out the link and click on the interactive graphic on the right to see detailed charts and graphs on the top 10 causes of death over time.

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1113569?query=featured_home&

23 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Top 10 causes of death in 1900 vs 1960 vs 2010 (Original Post) AZ Progressive Dec 2015 OP
fascinating. thanks KentuckyWoman Dec 2015 #1
A member of my family (old-timey) died from "dropsy" SoCalDem Dec 2015 #2
"Dropsy" is edema, so that was probably congestive heart failure Spider Jerusalem Dec 2015 #3
that suicide is now in the top 10 is a sad commentary on our society Amishman Dec 2015 #4
The rate has actually remained steady oberliner Dec 2015 #7
It's good that the top 4 in 2010 are primarily old age illnesses FLPanhandle Dec 2015 #5
Is "senility" what they called Alzheimers in 1900? oberliner Dec 2015 #6
I think you're right - Alzheimer's only came into common use in the last few decades hatrack Dec 2015 #8
Three of my four grandparents died of infections that now can be cured with antibiotics. greatauntoftriplets Dec 2015 #9
Sad to think how many lives have been lost to what are now considered trivial infections. eppur_se_muova Dec 2015 #13
It really is sad. greatauntoftriplets Dec 2015 #16
I'm only here because of 3 deaths. OnlinePoker Dec 2015 #19
That happened quite frequently back then, unfortunately. greatauntoftriplets Dec 2015 #21
Cancer doesn't look good. mmonk Dec 2015 #10
More people are living long enough to get cancer -- ironically, that's a good thing. eppur_se_muova Dec 2015 #12
Indeed it does not look good. GeeNeeUs Dec 2015 #14
"detox" - LOL trotsky Dec 2015 #17
Alas, even your liver can be overwhelmed by synthetic toxic chemical crud GeeNeeUs Dec 2015 #18
Do you know what causes most liver cancers? trotsky Dec 2015 #20
One reason why our environmental issues only get more complicated The2ndWheel Dec 2015 #11
Lots of infectious diseases went down due to improved hygiene ... eppur_se_muova Dec 2015 #15
A useful guide would be average age of death over the years. Eleanors38 Dec 2015 #22
What, pray tell, are "nepropathies"? KamaAina Dec 2015 #23

SoCalDem

(103,856 posts)
2. A member of my family (old-timey) died from "dropsy"
Wed Dec 23, 2015, 02:29 AM
Dec 2015

another died of "exhaustion"..another from "the ague"... These folks died in the late 1800's..

medicine has come a long way

Amishman

(5,594 posts)
4. that suicide is now in the top 10 is a sad commentary on our society
Wed Dec 23, 2015, 07:31 AM
Dec 2015

that our mental healthcare system fails so many and that so many feel so utterly hopeless that they take their own life; it says a lot about where we are as a society. And none of it is good.

 

oberliner

(58,724 posts)
7. The rate has actually remained steady
Wed Dec 23, 2015, 09:27 AM
Dec 2015

It's just that other causes have been bumped off the list - but the rate is basically unchanged.

Notice the cutoff point of the top 10 in 1900 vs. today.

FLPanhandle

(7,107 posts)
5. It's good that the top 4 in 2010 are primarily old age illnesses
Wed Dec 23, 2015, 09:17 AM
Dec 2015

Quite a change once antibiotics came into being.

hatrack

(59,816 posts)
8. I think you're right - Alzheimer's only came into common use in the last few decades
Wed Dec 23, 2015, 09:29 AM
Dec 2015

Before that, "senility" or "senile dementia" was the general usage.

greatauntoftriplets

(176,069 posts)
9. Three of my four grandparents died of infections that now can be cured with antibiotics.
Wed Dec 23, 2015, 10:11 AM
Dec 2015

As a result, I never knew them.

eppur_se_muova

(36,570 posts)
13. Sad to think how many lives have been lost to what are now considered trivial infections.
Wed Dec 23, 2015, 11:35 AM
Dec 2015

The mathematician Edouard Lucas was cut on the cheek by a flying shard of china after a waiter dropped a stack of plates, and died of a resultant infection.

Some famous author -- can't remember now who it was -- toasted his daughter's marriage, smashed the glass in the fireplace, and when cleaning up the shards cut himself on the finger. The subsequent infection turned septic, killing him.

Just think what a tube of good old Neosporin could have sold for back then.

OnlinePoker

(5,749 posts)
19. I'm only here because of 3 deaths.
Wed Dec 23, 2015, 12:23 PM
Dec 2015

3 of my grandparents first spouses or fiances died (1 of tuberculosis, 1 of influenza, and 1 in WW1) and and they remarried. Without their deaths, I wouldn't have been produced.

greatauntoftriplets

(176,069 posts)
21. That happened quite frequently back then, unfortunately.
Wed Dec 23, 2015, 12:27 PM
Dec 2015

In your family, though, it worked out well since you are one the results. Neither my paternal grandmother nor maternal grandfather ever remarried.

eppur_se_muova

(36,570 posts)
12. More people are living long enough to get cancer -- ironically, that's a good thing.
Wed Dec 23, 2015, 11:20 AM
Dec 2015

The rise in deaths from cancer is almost exclusively due to the fact that people are surviving other hazards for so long that the risk of getting cancer at some point in their lives is increasing -- just because their lives are longer. The actual incidence of cancer among any particular age group has been pretty constant (CAVEAT: after effects of smoking are accounted for), and dianosis and treatment have been happening earlier, which leads to improved survival rates.

I highly recommend Mukherjee's "Emperor of All Maladies", which was even made into a Ken Burns film, to get an idea of where cancer incidence and treatment stands today.

ETA: The big jump in cancer between 1900 and 1960 was almost entirely due to smoking, which had become socially acceptable even for women, and which was given a huge boost during WWI and WWII by provisioning troops with all the cigarettes they could smoke. Smoking is still responsible for about a third of all cancer deaths.

GeeNeeUs

(40 posts)
14. Indeed it does not look good.
Wed Dec 23, 2015, 11:43 AM
Dec 2015

"There is strong evidence that eating a healthy diet, being physically active, and achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight can help lower cancer risk..."

- U.S. National Library of Medicine
https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002096.htm

GeeNeeUs

(40 posts)
18. Alas, even your liver can be overwhelmed by synthetic toxic chemical crud
Wed Dec 23, 2015, 12:12 PM
Dec 2015

What are the key statistics about liver cancer?

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for primary liver cancer and intrahepatic bile duct cancer in the United States for 2015 are:

About 35,660 new cases (25,510 in men and 10,150 in women) will be diagnosed
About 24,550 people (17,030 men and 7,520 women) will die of these cancers
The percentage of Americans developing liver cancer has been rising slowly for several decades.

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/livercancer/detailedguide/liver-cancer-what-is-key-statistics

trotsky

(49,533 posts)
20. Do you know what causes most liver cancers?
Wed Dec 23, 2015, 12:23 PM
Dec 2015

It does not appear you do. (Here's a hint: click the "What are the risk factors for liver cancer?" hyperlink on the page you just provided.)

The2ndWheel

(7,947 posts)
11. One reason why our environmental issues only get more complicated
Wed Dec 23, 2015, 10:22 AM
Dec 2015

We keep more people alive, for longer periods of time, and more of us do more things during that time. Renewables will only change that problem, not solve it.

Heart disease shot up in 1960 from 1900, went down in 2010, but still higher than 1900. Cancer, higher each time. Diabetes, not on the list in 1900, but higher in the other two lists. Alzheimer's is new to 2010, as is suicide.

Some of that is diagnosing things that maybe weren't previously, but that's part of the issue; there's always a new problem to find. Which goes back to the environmental issues. Deaths from influenza and pneumonia, way down, but that comes at the cost of something else. Maybe polar bears, who knows.

If we're living on a finite planet, then everything is sort of give and take.

eppur_se_muova

(36,570 posts)
15. Lots of infectious diseases went down due to improved hygiene ...
Wed Dec 23, 2015, 11:47 AM
Dec 2015

everything from cleaner public water supplies to the greater availability of soap to those pesky signs in restrooms warning all employees to wash their hands. When people weren't aware of germs, they didn't pay so much attention to hygiene; they needed to be educated into better habits. Nowadays we have a tendency to go overboard with antiobiotic cleansers and the like, but note that diphtheria and gastrointestinal infections vanished as categories after 1900, and all infectious diseases declined in both intervals. We now consider a certain degree of personal cleanliness to be "comnon sense", but without an understanding of how infectious agents are transmitted, it just didn't mean much to most people.

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