A Tale of Two Diseases: Trends in Heart Disease and Cancer Death Rates, 1980-2010

Nathan R. Jones, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Despite advances in prevention and treatment, heart disease and cancer continue to be the national leading causes of death in the US. Twenty-five years of mortality data (1980 to 2005) were obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s WONDER database. Death rates were projected to 2010 for the U.S. and all fifty states following trends observed from 1996-2005. From 1980 to 2005, heart disease death rates declined 49%, while cancer death rates declined only 12%. If these trends continue, cancer will become the leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2010. Heart disease and cancer death rates declined more for men than for women overall and for nearly every age group. The year in which cancer is projected to become the leading cause of death varies, from as early as 2000 in Minnesota to as late as 2022 for Alabama.

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Presented in Poster Session 1