15 top killers of Americans
January 11th, 2012
12:01 PM ET

15 top killers of Americans

The leading killers of Americans continue to be non-infectious diseases like heart disease, strokes and lung diseases.

But one of the perpetual causes of death fell off the top 15 list this year: Homicides.

“Most of the changes were positive,” said Sherry Murphy, a statistician at the National Center of Health Statistics and one of the authors of the annual mortality report.  “Homicides fell from among the 15 leading causes for the first time since 1965.”

The rest of the common killers remained fairly consistent compared with 2009, according to the report released Wednesday. The death rate in the United States dropped slightly from 749.6 deaths per 100,000 in 2009 to 746.2 deaths per 100,000.

The life expectancy in the United States inched up a tiny bit from 78.6 years in 2009 to 78.7 years in 2010.

The leading causes of death in 2010 remained nearly the same as in 2009  - kidney diseases became the 8th leading cause of death –- it had been 9th in the previous year.  It swapped spots with flu and pneumonia.

The 15th leading killer is pneumonitis due to solids and liquids, an illness more likely to strike the elderly.  This is inflammation of the lungs due to inhaling substance inside the lung such as dust, mold or inhalants.

Here are the top 15 killers:

1. Diseases of heart
2. Malignant neoplasms (cancer)
3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases (such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma)
4. Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke)
5. Accidents (any injuries that are unintentional)
6. Alzheimer’s disease
7. Diabetes mellitus
8. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis (kidney disease)
9. Influenza and pneumonia
10. Intentional self-harm (suicide)
11. Septicemia
12. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
13. Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease
14. Parkinson’s disease
15. Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids

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soundoff (3,073 Responses)
  1. beth

    They forgot George Bush

    January 11, 2012 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • biff

      You drama queen

      January 11, 2012 at 12:47 | Report abuse |
    • Hence21

      I didn't know he died, that explains the rainbow last week

      January 11, 2012 at 13:06 | Report abuse |
    • jimmy

      Do you think any of the aforementioned diseases has a chance against Dick Cheney?

      January 11, 2012 at 13:13 | Report abuse |
    • TBaggersSuk

      And if you are suffering from any of those conditions the Gop healthcare plan is to hurry up and die quickly....

      January 11, 2012 at 13:21 | Report abuse |
    • RossTrex

      Bush is 26th between ToTurkey inhilation and Monkey Pox.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:26 | Report abuse |
    • paganguy

      It wasn't Bush, it was Dick Cheney with the help of Rumsfeld. Cheney also shot the hunting buddy in the face.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:38 | Report abuse |
    • JDL

      Shouldn't "Death via Muslim" be somewhere on that list?

      January 11, 2012 at 13:54 | Report abuse |
    • matrix09

      Ya, and Dick Cheney too.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:58 | Report abuse |
    • Dr ruth..

      At paganguy:

      Cheney also shot the hunting buddy in the face, never mind they were both drunk, but his friend said on national TV “It was nothing Dick was just joking””

      January 11, 2012 at 14:06 | Report abuse |
    • SAm

      Good One...Excellent

      January 11, 2012 at 14:53 | Report abuse |
    • FailedCongress

      JDL = Perfect example of a person whipped by fear. The terrorists won against this guy. Now he runs around in paranoia intent on labeling and taking away the rights of many who are innocent due to the terrible actions of an extreme few.

      January 11, 2012 at 15:12 | Report abuse |
    • shut_up

      they forgot obozo, the black plague!

      January 11, 2012 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
  2. MichaelOregon

    Sheesh, its tough being human =L

    January 11, 2012 at 12:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. palintwit

    Whenever I think of Alaska, I think of Sarah Palin. Whenever I think of Sarah Palin, I think of teabaggers. Whenever I think of teabaggers, I think of nascar. Whenever I think of nascar, I think of trailer trash. Whenever I think of trailer trash, I think of Sarah Palin.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nick

      What are you talking about, did you read the article. Stupid people can never stay on topic.

      January 11, 2012 at 12:55 | Report abuse |
    • larlarme

      great. now when i think of idiots, i'll think of you...

      January 11, 2012 at 13:08 | Report abuse |
    • Lola

      Nick must be a Palin lover...now that's stupid!!!!!

      January 11, 2012 at 13:09 | Report abuse |
    • Andrew Friet

      Whenever I think of trailer trash, I think of your mother

      January 11, 2012 at 13:19 | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      That's actually pretty funny... well said.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:49 | Report abuse |
    • WildMontana

      Off topic, but funny.

      BTW, the only way to kill Dick Cheney is to drive a stake through his heart.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:53 | Report abuse |
    • palintwit

      WildMontana... is that a heart or an aquarium pump ?

      January 11, 2012 at 14:05 | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Lola, I think Palin is an idiot, that doesn't change the fact that this is off topic and a dumb waste of space. Palintwit must have a school boy crush on her to go out of his way to make fun of her at every opportunity. Just like any other 15-minute fame person, if you ignore her she will just go away for good. It's the people that keep bringing her up over and over (good or bad) that keep her in the news.

      January 11, 2012 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
    • csam18

      I heard if you pour salt over Dick Cheney, he'll melt.

      January 11, 2012 at 16:26 | Report abuse |
  4. Bryce

    Oops, we "forgot" to put abortion on the list again. An average of 1.2 million Americans die via abortion every year in the US. The fact that those people are in an early stage of human development does not mean they are not people. There is no cause of death that kills more people in the US than abortion.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • biff

      the world is overpopulated as it is and you pipe off about this matter, GFY

      January 11, 2012 at 12:48 | Report abuse |
    • Martina

      GO AWAY!

      January 11, 2012 at 12:51 | Report abuse |
    • Hence21

      Sure, but you are not a US citizen until you are born, therefore they do not count as dead americans....

      January 11, 2012 at 12:56 | Report abuse |
    • timmaahhyy

      Most abortions are unwanted pregnancies and usually people who could not afford to care for the child anyway. I dont want to pay to raise 1.2 million childeren with my tax money...do you?

      January 11, 2012 at 13:01 | Report abuse |
    • Fritz


      January 11, 2012 at 13:01 | Report abuse |
    • NSfromIndiana

      Yea, but abortion is probably one of the main reasons for the drop in Deaths due to homicide. You should read "Freakonomics" it thoroughly discusses the correlation between the drop in crime, murder, etc. and the legalization of abortion.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:03 | Report abuse |
    • abortion rulz

      abortion is great, you abortion lovers love those little things until they pop out of the womb and then you want nothing to do with them....they arent human anyway....they are prehuman matter....

      January 11, 2012 at 13:08 | Report abuse |
    • livinlife420

      right on!

      January 11, 2012 at 13:09 | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Well, technically, you cannot die until you are born, you just cease to live... so abortion can't really "kill anyone"... sorry Bryce. Maybe you and Mr. Santorum can go to planned parenthood and terrorize smart people.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:14 | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Survival of the fittest. live with it.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:25 | Report abuse |
    • chelsea12345

      You have to be born to die genius.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:42 | Report abuse |
    • Hair of the Dog

      The #1 leading cause of death is birth...you cannot argue that fact!

      January 11, 2012 at 13:44 | Report abuse |
    • charles

      The early developmental stage isn't what makes them not a person. The lack of sentience, consciousness, reasoning ability, and ability to survive outside their mother's body is what makes them not a person.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:47 | Report abuse |
    • WildMontana

      Don't feed the troll.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:57 | Report abuse |
    • csnord

      Abortion doesn't kill people; it prevents a potential person from becoming a person, so it doesn't belong in the statistics. Given the state of the population, it is a very desirable thing.

      January 11, 2012 at 14:06 | Report abuse |
    • Chuck in Jasper, Ga.

      I bet you call yourself Pro-life instead of what you are Anti-Abortion and Freedom of choice. At any rate, if you want to throw your "opinion" in to the equation, here is mine. More people die from not receiving proper medical care because they do not have funds nor insurance to see a doctor on a regular basis. Seeing a doctor on a regular basis reduces the chances considerably that undetected health issues that lead to catastrophic conditions, resulting in death will occur. I also bet you are one of the many so called Pro-Lifers.. that opposed the Affordable Health Care Act.

      January 11, 2012 at 14:24 | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Actually you are quite wrong, if you believe that life begins at conception then the number 1 killer is miscarriage. (25-50% of pregnancies.)

      January 11, 2012 at 14:40 | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Yep. Hey Biff, do you count yourself as one of the ones who there's no room for. Perhaps try and airplane ride, you may find on a clear day that there is actually a lot of room, potential for improved food distribution and decreased waste. Most of us are glad our parents decided to have us, despite the limited resources.

      January 11, 2012 at 14:56 | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Right on Bryce and kudos for having the balls to stand up and speak the truth!

      At conception, a human's genetic make-up is NO different than the day they die whether they're 1 minute old or 100 yrs old. You cannot offer and win the arguments of maturity, mental capacity, quality of life, etc either. How come, you may ask? Who gives any one person or group of persons the right to decided if/when another human being is mature enough, is smart enough, lives a comfortable enough life, etc to live? As for your tax payers dollars going to pay for the care of unwanted, young children: that's just B.S. It's called adoption, it saves lives and doesn't cost you a damn cent unless you're the one adopting. And guess what, those who want to adopt are HAPPY to pay for it – it's worth every penny. Your tax-payer $ IS however used to provide abortion services, explain to me how fair that is. Why should I be forced, by law, to fund terrorism and murder; I thought this was America?

      It's SOOOO sad that millions of people have become so selfish and cold-hearted as to believe in a person's right to slaughter another human in the name of convenience. I'll remember that and don't come crying to me because someone mudered your kid, sibling, parent, relative or friend for their car, $, etc – because you so firmly support a person's right to kill another person for whatever damn reason they please.

      January 11, 2012 at 15:09 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Not that most people care, but # of U.S. abortions per year is much closer to 800,000 than 1.2 million, and hasn't been that high since the mid-1990s.

      January 11, 2012 at 15:15 | Report abuse |
    • FailedCongress

      Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Milosevic, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein. NOT ABORTED!

      January 11, 2012 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Our country's forefathers, Einstein, Steve Jobs, Thomas Watson, Dennis Ritchie, Wilbur and Orville Wright, Henry Ford, Willis Carrier,.... not to mention YOU, your parents, their parents and so-on... NOT ABORTED!

      January 11, 2012 at 16:03 | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      It also amazes me how many people support "Pro-Choice" and at the same time are appalled and outright opposed to capital punishment!

      It's okay to brutally mutilate, cut into pieces without anesthesia (well maybe a little for mom cause we don't want HER to be uncomfortable), and murder an innocent child that has done NOTHING wrong or to hurt anyone else (other than come into existenance – which again, mom had a little something todo with).

      However, to put to sleep (via lethal injection – basically the most painless and easy way to die known to man since the beginning of time) someone who's conscientiously and intentionally tortured, mutilated, killed, etc as a "mature and learned" individual and who would not hesitate to do it over and over again – well, that's just unthinkable!

      There's a term for that... Hypocrisy (and at its WORST, I might add)

      January 11, 2012 at 16:26 | Report abuse |
    • RP

      You can't expect anyone to take you seriously when you flat out lie about the numbers.

      January 12, 2012 at 12:13 | Report abuse |
  5. TWENTY3

    Terrorists aren't anywhere on that list... Isn't that weird?

    January 11, 2012 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Will

      When was the last time a terrorist actually killed an American in America? Not even on the top 100 causes I would suspect...

      January 11, 2012 at 12:55 | Report abuse |
    • timmaahhyy

      you know what kills more americans than terrorists.....bears. we need to start a "war against wildlife" and fund it with trillions of tax dollars to end these atrocities.

      January 11, 2012 at 12:59 | Report abuse |
    • Hence21

      I think we have already waged a pretty good war against wildlife, in fact, we almost got all the polar bears. So you can sleep easy knowing that all the polar bears will be dead soon and won't break into your house and eat you children... Thank God!

      January 11, 2012 at 13:04 | Report abuse |
    • timmaahhyy

      whew!!! I will call AAA and cancel my bear attack policy.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:06 | Report abuse |
    • sixin

      Will, not sure when the last one was and I would agree that it doesn't belong on the list by numbers alone, but your comment does somewhat disrespect and indicate forgetfulness of September 11, 2001.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:51 | Report abuse |
    • truefax

      Do you know that 9/11 is happening over and over again. Every year, do you know what this hateful killer of americans is?

      WATER! Every year several thousand people meet their watery ends and their their lives are snuffed out in long and brutal way. Less bombs more lifeguards? Naaah that's socialism.

      January 11, 2012 at 15:33 | Report abuse |
    • RP

      No, it's not. I'm pretty sure we all would have heard about it if there had been a terrorist attack *last year*.

      January 12, 2012 at 12:14 | Report abuse |
  6. outdoorsnut

    How about medical mistakes? I think they cause more deaths than suicide (#10).

    January 11, 2012 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lola

      Only to crazy conspiracy believers.

      January 11, 2012 at 12:56 | Report abuse |
    • Leaf on the Wind

      Perhaps they've included those in #5, Accidents.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:09 | Report abuse |
    • chelsea12345

      Those are accidents despite what your cheap suit lawyer tells you.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:43 | Report abuse |
    • Beth

      If a doctor did not harm someone accidentally, then they did it intentionally and that would be murder, but nice try!

      January 11, 2012 at 14:21 | Report abuse |
    • M.D. (Malpractice Defendant)

      outdoorsnut has a point. And malpractice isn't an accident, it's negligence.
      This could include nosocomial infections (nice code-word for something you caught at the hospital) and deaths from prescription drugs. For nosocomial infections, one study by the CDC "...estimate[s] that roughly 1.7 million hospital-associated infections, from all types of microorganisms, including bacteria, combined, cause or contribute to 99,000 deaths each year" For prescription drug-related deaths, the CDC "found a fourfold increase in deaths from prescription narcotics over the past decade. Not surprisingly, it coincides with a fourfold increase in the number of prescriptions written for the powerful painkillers. In 2008, the most recent year for which there are statistics, there were 20,044 overdose deaths from prescription drugs..." (from Fox news, of all places). So that's a combined estimated annual total of roughly 120,000 people dying annually from a healthcare-related "mistake."
      Incidentally, the CDC reports the total number of U.S. deaths determined to be "suicide" in 2008 was 34,598.

      January 11, 2012 at 14:30 | Report abuse |
    • DM

      going to a doctor in this country qualifies as self-harm anyway...

      January 11, 2012 at 14:55 | Report abuse |
    • RP

      "And malpractice isn't an accident, it's negligence."

      It's either an accident or it's on purpose. The study defines an accident as "unintentional injury". Unless you're going to argue that doctors and nurses harm patients intentionally then in falls in the category of accidents.

      I'm sure that in a court of law it's considered negligence but this isn't a courtroom.

      January 12, 2012 at 12:25 | Report abuse |
  7. Hence21

    Should tell us something that the Number 2 and 3 cause of death are usually caused by polluted environments. Asthma and lung issues caused by poor air quality. Cancer, caused by what seems to be everything anymore. It will be interesting to see what the number are in 30 to 40 years and see if EPA regulations make any difference.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • NeverInaMillion

      yes, and it will be interesting to see if the smoking percentage changes, too, and how this list changes. And, how our fairly new smoking laws keeping second-hand smoke out of public places affects numbers 2 and 3. Hopefully, in 30 years we'll have a whole lot less people smoking. Another interesting effect is the advances we'll have against cancer, they grow better every year, and even if the pollution doesn't change, cancer may decrease significantly due to our work in this area. I do hope so. It is really a horrible way to be sick with constant suffering.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:00 | Report abuse |
    • nimrod

      The top 4 causes can be related to tobacco use.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:06 | Report abuse |
    • Jim in Georgia

      When Romney gets in he will do away with the EPA so those should increase big time.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:22 | Report abuse |
  8. Jezebel

    As a "news" company, you should use correct terminology when discussing scientific findings. It's not a matter of precision here, but it's incorrect and inaccurate to say "accidents". No one in the field of unintentional injury says "accident". The term implies things that cannot be prevented, when it is always possible for people to wear seatbelts and helmets, not smoke in their homes, not leave children unattended in the bathtub, and not drive drunk, etc. Your summary (I'm guessing that's what this is supposed to be?) lacks a link to the original report, and doesn't even include an age range for the population in question. Then again, CNN thinks it's "appropriate" to have a practicing neurosurgeon talk to the general public about the importance of flu vaccines and the outbreak of cholera in Haiti. Last time I checked, this wasn't how American health care was delivered. I'm disappointed that you put more work into sound reporting on Kim Kardashian's self-released sex tape than you do on things that actually matter.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lola

      Lighten up or your going to add another notch to the stroke count

      January 11, 2012 at 13:07 | Report abuse |
    • Leaf on the Wind

      Think of it this way, Jezebel: If Accidents include people who die because they did something stupid like not wear a seat belt, let's just be thankful that they've taken themselves out of the gene pool.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:13 | Report abuse |
    • JulianCA

      I agree that news reporting of medical studies is usually pretty poor. However, I don't think the specific issues you raised here are particularly valid. There is no "age range" required to report because it is obviously, although it could have been stated explicitly, all deaths (meaning all ages). And the term "accident" here is obviously meaning all non-disease issues that were not purposeful death (i.e. suicide or homicide). Yes it would be very good to break down the accidents better - is it mostly car safety, gun safety, drownings, etc.

      Anyway, while it is certainly light on the details, I don't think this article creates much confusion about what they are reporting - unlike many news articles on medicine that drastically warp what the research said.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:24 | Report abuse |
    • chelsea12345

      Arguable any death could be prevented. It's fair to say that the accidental deaths were unintentional despite how easily they may have been prevented. Example: I doubt the moron who chose not to wear a seat belt did so because they wanted to die. They were simply reckless and/or stupid. Just be glad there is one less idiot in the gene pool.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:50 | Report abuse |
    • Poodles

      I hope you get hit by a bus. I suppose that would add 1 to the accident column.

      January 11, 2012 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
    • RP

      If you'd bothered looking it up yourself you would have found that the study comes from the CDC and yes, the study itself does use the word "accident" and doesn't have a limit on the age range.

      Furthermore, the word accident does not imply that something couldn't be prevented. It only means that the harm wasn't deliberate. If you don't wear a helmet and you fall going down a hill, it's an accident. It doesn't become an "on purpose" just because you could have worn a helmet (or not been on the bike at all for that matter).

      January 12, 2012 at 12:34 | Report abuse |
  9. Nick

    More guns being sold, more concealed carry laws passed, and more gun owners. The Brady campaign and other anti gunners promised there would be death an violence everywhere if that happened, yet homicides fell off the list for the first time in 50 years. Gun control laws were much more strict in 1965, so something isn't jiving with the gun-control people's claims.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dolly lamma

      If guns kill people was it your keyboard that typoed?

      January 11, 2012 at 13:24 | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      I never said guns kill people. I was just repeating the claims of the Brady campaign that murders would increase if more people had guns.

      January 11, 2012 at 14:48 | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      The Brady bunch once (maybe more than once, I don't follow them) gave letter grades to each state, based on how much the Brady bunch approved of each state's anti-gun laws. Hilariously, the states with higher grades actually had very slightly higher murder rates. We already knew that anti-gun laws don't help prevent crime, but the fact that this was based on Brady's own subjective approval made it funny.

      January 11, 2012 at 18:35 | Report abuse |
  10. Roger

    Of course, the top 5 should be re-written as follows:

    1. Obesity
    2 Pollution
    3. Tobacco
    4. More Obesity
    5. Stupidity (either theirs or someone else's)

    January 11, 2012 at 12:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lola

      How about ignorance...which is exactly what your comment shows.

      January 11, 2012 at 12:57 | Report abuse |
    • Roger

      Gimme a break, Lola. Obesity and smoking are easily the greatest contributing factors to the majority of the top 5.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:00 | Report abuse |
    • Sarcasmo

      Lola is an oddball. They don't think medical mistakes kill people, and the don't support the inclusion of smoking, obesity, or anything else. Huh. Life must be nice in happy-go-lucky la-la land.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:10 | Report abuse |
  11. lolfail

    FACT Americans die to non infectious diseases.
    FACT Americans live longer than most 3rd world countries and our age and poor diet contribute to this..
    FACT The world is over populated with humans and we need more deaths

    January 11, 2012 at 12:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hence21

      Fact, the article didn't say no one died of non infectious diseases, just that it wasn't one of the leading causes as listed in the to 15.
      Fact, get off your soap box and calm down. there are still much much more insects on the planet than humans, the world will be just fine, it has survived much worse that Humans...

      January 11, 2012 at 13:01 | Report abuse |
    • Fact

      FACT: You don't need to worry. We will all eventually die.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:17 | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      FACT: You probably smell really bad

      January 11, 2012 at 13:23 | Report abuse |
    • Mike C

      MYTH: People that start sentences with "FACT" are smart, contributing members of society.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:25 | Report abuse |
  12. timmaahhyy

    wow....terrorists didnt even make the top 15....makes you wonder why we spend so much on the "war on terror". come to think of it illegal drug overdoses are not on the list either. That would be 2 "wars" we could end and save ourselves a bunch of money.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hence21

      see, the wars are working 😉

      January 11, 2012 at 13:02 | Report abuse |
    • timmaahhyy

      Must be. we should throw more money at the TSA> I was at Detroit Metro Airport last week and there were only 50 or 60 TSA agents standing around trying to look busy.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:05 | Report abuse |
    • Hence21

      Wrong tim, that is there new strategy. If you look like you are doing nothing, then the terrorist will think they can sneak pass you, then wham! off to Gitmo you go. That TSA agent wasn't sleeping... he was in the middle of a recon mission....

      January 11, 2012 at 13:09 | Report abuse |
  13. cleat

    the the fatty mcfatfat ameicans that sit around and do nothing is what causes it.
    She so fat, she has her own moon orbiting her...

    January 11, 2012 at 13:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hence21

      Well heart attacks can be caused by stress too, as in working really hard and too often that it causes a heart attack. Also the same for strokes. And cancer and lung problems can come from working you a$$ off in a coal mine all your life, or in a steel mill. So i don't think it is all lazy americans...

      January 11, 2012 at 13:12 | Report abuse |
    • cleat

      keep on looking for excuses to NOT give up the big macs....

      January 11, 2012 at 14:10 | Report abuse |
    • Hence21

      I don't eat big mac's. I agree that a lot of the number is overweight ppl in america, but that is not to say everyone that had a heart attack was overweight and lazy. Just don't generalize ppl like you do. It makes you look stupid

      January 11, 2012 at 16:25 | Report abuse |
  14. Russled Jimmies

    You know, as a multi-million dollar news organization, you'd think that whoever is writing, proofreading, fact-checking, and publishing these articles, whether one person or a whole team, would at least verify the hyperlinks work, especially when the article is a list compiled of critical data and every numbers item has a link to outside information. I have to really question CNN's integrity when these simple mistakes pass through so many people.

    January 11, 2012 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Charles

    Living has always been the number one cause of death

    January 11, 2012 at 13:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Leaf on the Wind

      🙂 Good one!

      January 11, 2012 at 13:17 | Report abuse |
  16. Nick

    Everyone should read "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease"

    We can easily take #1 off the list if we choose to.

    January 11, 2012 at 13:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Lando the Mando

    Actually, according to a 1986 study done by Cutting Crew, the #1 way to die is in your arms tonight.

    January 11, 2012 at 13:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Solitairedog

      That was in 1986. If you read the article, murder has dropped off the list.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:23 | Report abuse |
    • Major Dude

      Solitairedog takes the cake for pure ignorance. It must've been something you said...

      January 11, 2012 at 13:26 | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      you should've walked away!!!!!!

      January 11, 2012 at 13:43 | Report abuse |
    • RP

      We could have had a nice combo going but now it's over, the moment has gone.

      January 12, 2012 at 12:38 | Report abuse |
  18. Solitairedog

    When I read this list, it occurs to me that our lungs are our most vulnerable organ. Pneumonia, bronchitis, some cancers, pneumonitis, emphysema, and asthma all spread out on the top 10 list. Our lungs are our weakest link.

    January 11, 2012 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Requestingaban

      We should ban our lungs. It's the only way to make sure they don't kill us.

      January 11, 2012 at 13:51 | Report abuse |
  19. people are crazy

    So the war on drugs and the war on terror should actually be the war on obesity/unhealthiness

    January 11, 2012 at 13:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Aldo

    So many of these are caused by the American diet. All the more reason to not eat processed foods and grow your own food.

    January 11, 2012 at 13:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Requestingaban

    Congress should hurry and draft legislation to ban all of the top 15 killers of Americans, because everyone knows that if it is illegal to have any of this then people won't die from them.

    January 11, 2012 at 13:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. me

    I was sure terrorism was going to be on the list.

    January 11, 2012 at 13:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jack

      I know right? what the hell?

      January 11, 2012 at 15:03 | Report abuse |
  23. Apathy

    Where does US abortion deaths rank in the Top 15 ? #1 ? I wonder

    January 11, 2012 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • chelsea12345

      because you have to be born to die

      January 11, 2012 at 13:51 | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Several spots below miscarriage. I'm sure you're avidly organizing the March for Cure (of miscarriage.)

      January 11, 2012 at 14:55 | Report abuse |
  24. Spearwielder

    Wow. Based on political screed I read, I expected to see Islamic terrorists, Republicans, and socialists on the list.

    January 11, 2012 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Max in NY

    Watch forks over knives...changed my life. I've almost completely cut out animals products from my diet...its the healthiest way to live, pure and simple.

    January 11, 2012 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • chelsea12345

      Not that it's at all relevant to this article but I could not disagree with you more. I was raised in a vegan family and it has had detrimental effects on my health. I am now 30 and still unable to consume beef due to a lack of enzymes

      January 11, 2012 at 13:54 | Report abuse |
  26. 46thPres

    and all this time it thought it was the Grim Reeper.

    What a bummer

    January 11, 2012 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Say what?

    And the leaidng cause of death is....LIFE!

    January 11, 2012 at 14:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Russled Jimmies

    We're all gonna die someday. It's not like eliminating smoking or poor diet is going to prolong your life by an additional 100 years or so. People who smoke and are overweight can easily live until 70 or 80 years of age, if not, longer, and they do so being happy and enjoying life as they please. I say let those who want to smoke smoke and eat whatever you want. Whether you die from lung disease, heart disease, car accident, drug overdose, is just a game of chance. Don't shortchange yourself trying to please others and change statistics.

    January 11, 2012 at 14:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rachelle

      But HOW you die and quality of life matters. Personally, I'd rather feel good and healthy most of my life instead of smoking out of a stoma in old age or lying in bed too fat to move. There's more to life than food and drugs (including nicotine).

      January 11, 2012 at 15:04 | Report abuse |
  29. bo

    What they conveniently forgot to add in the list is that the 3rd leading cause of death in America is medical mistakes and prescription drug use. In other words the 3rd leading cause of death in America is going to your doctor.

    January 11, 2012 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Beth

      Again, if your doctor knowing makes a "mistake" that is borderline murder, so like another PP said, they are probably lumped in with the accidents, and I like to assume that doctors do not knowingly mess up.

      January 11, 2012 at 14:24 | Report abuse |
  30. bo

    What they conveniently forgot to add in the list is that the 3rd leading cause of death in America is medical mistakes and prescription drug use. In other words the 3rd leading cause of death in America is going to your doctor.


    January 11, 2012 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Beth

    It seems to me that a lot these top killers are brough on by ourselves. Some are unavoidable, sure, but it seems like more than half are caused by poor food choices, alcohol abuse, and smoking.

    January 11, 2012 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. forgetting one?

    They somehow forgot to mention "death by conventional medicine." In the US, over three-quarters of a million deaths every year are CAUSED by conventional medical practices. Don't believe everything you read – the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is a division of the United States federal agency the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – I think we can go ahead and assume their stats are skewed the way they want. Follow the $$$ and you'll figure out how...

    January 11, 2012 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. TJ

    whew...herpes wasn't on there

    January 11, 2012 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Samuel R. Preston, III

    Very surprised to see that tripping down a flight of metal stairs while holding a wedding cake and landing in a shark-infested swimming pool wasn't on this list - I thought for sure it would be (?)

    January 11, 2012 at 14:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Preston

    Public Enemy No.1: The 'Insurance' industry. Number 2; Big Pharma.

    January 11, 2012 at 14:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Rich Murray

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    January 11, 2012 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Oldkemosh

    That list forgot to mention the number one killer of men, NAGGING. That's why woman live longer than men. They nag us to death.

    January 11, 2012 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • vivian

      I'm going to tell your wife you said that.

      January 11, 2012 at 15:02 | Report abuse |
  38. docdewitt

    Look for dementia (Alzheimers) to move up the list as the baby boomers age. The few drugs out there may slow the advancement for a brief time, then the dementia advances at breakneck speed; we still don't know how to prevent it in any meaningful way, nor do any of the drugs affect the length of time from onset untill death. It kills in ten years, more or less.

    January 11, 2012 at 14:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Ann

    Why aren't trees on the list? They get in the way of a lot of careless and drunken drivers, killing quite a few of them. Let's cut down all the trees.

    January 11, 2012 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. anthony

    they need to put iatrogenic deaths in its proper place on this list. proper medical treatment (this does not include malpractice or drug overdoses, but only procedures and prescriptions properly administered) accounts for more than 700,000 deaths each year. probably in the # 4-6 range on this list.

    January 11, 2012 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. SAm

    They forgot BEING MARRIED in most cases

    January 11, 2012 at 14:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. oneSTARman

    I ALMOST Did A SPIT TAKE When I Read NO. 15.

    January 11, 2012 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. The all potent one

    I'm sure McDonalds is on the list somewhere

    January 11, 2012 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. hamsta

    of course new orleans has to be backwards the homicide rate here rose 14%.

    January 11, 2012 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. vivian

    The leading cause of death for our veterans is suicide. Vote Democrat.

    January 11, 2012 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lee

      So timeless and batueiful as a Mom who didn't do maternity portraits at the time, I can tell you that she will NEVER regret having a custom photographer capture the beauty of this time. The significance later is HUGE, and worthy of every dollar spent!

      July 1, 2012 at 20:23 | Report abuse |
  46. Jack

    And yet they spend the most money on "terrorism" which isn't on the list. Hmm, something doesn't seem right here.

    January 11, 2012 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. JonathanL

    it certainly isn't Muslim terrorists. But at least our suiciders don't tend to take others with them. But i would like to cite one oversight. Deaths due to hospital mishaps including avoidable fatal infections incurred in a hospital were recently cited as the leading cause of death in America above heart disease. I think this is an example of how you can paint a totally different picture depending on how you present the data. Hospital mishaps were probably thrown int the accidents category. and Infections were put into some other disease category.

    January 11, 2012 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. hamsta

    @palintwit its really funny u still talk all that trash about the tea party when its the occupy protestors who choose to be gutter punks and live in parking lots and other peoples front yards.even trailer trash is better than that

    January 11, 2012 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Scrape

    The American life style is to blame. If people ate half decent, most of these fall of the list.

    January 11, 2012 at 15:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Benjamin

    Don't forget that 1.2 million unborn babies are killed every year through elective abortions. I guess "out of sight, out of mind" works with most Americans.

    January 11, 2012 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Snoot

      Our prisons are filled to the brim with those who should've been aborted.

      January 11, 2012 at 16:04 | Report abuse |
    • Hence21

      Bryce already posted that, Dummy!

      January 11, 2012 at 16:26 | Report abuse |
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.