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

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

1 Billion People Used Facebook on Single Day

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised the accomplishment in a posting on the social media site 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs