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

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network 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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs