News / Health

CDC: Thousands of Premature Deaths are Preventable

File - Dr. Keith Melancon, right, Georgetown's kidney transplant director, performs the surgery to harvest the kidney from donor Tom Otten, at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington. File - Dr. Keith Melancon, right, Georgetown's kidney transplant director, performs the surgery to harvest the kidney from donor Tom Otten, at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington.
x
File - Dr. Keith Melancon, right, Georgetown's kidney transplant director, performs the surgery to harvest the kidney from donor Tom Otten, at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington.
File - Dr. Keith Melancon, right, Georgetown's kidney transplant director, performs the surgery to harvest the kidney from donor Tom Otten, at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington.

Related Articles

Trial of Dengue Fever Vaccine Cuts Infection in Half

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne illness that infects an estimated 400 million people each year

Experts Watching MERS Outbreak for Global Menace

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome has killed about a third of people known to have caught it; there is no treatment and no vaccine
Five things kill the majority of the nearly 900,000 Americans who die prematurely each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
 
Premature death, as defined by the CDC, is under 80 years old, given that the average life expectancy in the U.S. is 79.
 
The five top killers are heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke and unintentional injuries. These accounted for 63 percent of all U.S. deaths in 2010 though the rates vary greatly by state.
 
Of those deaths, the CDC says 20 to 40 percent could be prevented if people had access to the top preventative care available in the country for each specific cause of death, a best-case scenario of sorts.
 
The best-case scenario was calculated by calculating the mortality rates of the five top causes of death in all the U.S. states. The three states with the lowest mortality for each of the five top killers was then averaged.
 
The CDC study estimated the number of avoidable, premature deaths for each cause would be as follows:
 
  • 34 percent of premature deaths from heart diseases, potentially extending about 92,000 lives
  • 21 percent of premature cancer deaths, potentially extending about 84,500 lives
  • 39 percent of premature deaths from chronic lower respiratory diseases, potentially extending about 29,000 lives
  • 33 percent of premature stroke deaths, potentially extending about 17,000 lives
  • 39 percent of premature deaths from unintentional injuries, potentially extending about 37,000 lives  

Those numbers, the CDC said, could not be added together because some people might recover from a heart attack only to later die from cancer, for example.
 
The CDC data covered 2008 to 2010.
 
“As a doctor, it is heartbreaking to lose just one patient to a preventable disease or injury – and it is that much more poignant as the director of the nation’s public health agency to know that far more than a hundred thousand deaths each year are preventable,” said CDC director Tom Frieden, MD in a statement.
 
The southern states, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, saw between 28 and 33 percent of preventable premature deaths, the CDC said.
 
"This data is yet another demonstration that when it comes to health in this country, your longevity and health are more determined by your [postal] code than they are by your genetic code," Frieden said during a news conference.

The five leading causes of premature death are seen in this graphic provided by the Centers for Disease Control.The five leading causes of premature death are seen in this graphic provided by the Centers for Disease Control.
x
The five leading causes of premature death are seen in this graphic provided by the Centers for Disease Control.
The five leading causes of premature death are seen in this graphic provided by the Centers for Disease Control.
Ways to lower the risk of premature death include many common sense steps.
 
For example, the CDC recommends eating healthy, exercising, avoiding smoking, using seatbelts, using helmets, controlling high blood pressure and avoiding exposure to harmful chemicals and other substances.
 
Frieden told reporters that the “good news is that things that people can change -- what we call modifiable risk factors -- make a huge difference."

According to a 2009 World Health Organization report, the top causes of premature death worldwide are poor childhood nutrition, unsafe sex, alcohol use, lack of safe water, bad sanitation and hygiene, and high blood pressure.

You May Like

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs