What is the Leading Cause of Death in America?

The leading causes of death in this country may actually surprise you and include a few things you did not anticipate seeing on the list. The average American may struggle with health conditions that do not seem serious to them but can turn into larger health problems over time. Others can be perfectly healthy but end up in an unexpected accident that lands them in the hospital or urgent care.

Here are some of the leading causes of death in people across the United States:

Traffic Accidents

In urgent care centers and emergency rooms across the nation, car accident victims that need care are constantly coming in. Annually, three million people are hurt in vehicle collisions on the nation’s roadways. These injuries can range from simple bone breaks and concussions to fatal damage to the internal organs and brain. Car accidents are the third-highest cause of death across the country. Some ways to prevent fatal car accidents might include wearing a seatbelt no matter how short of a ride you may be going on, and ignoring your phone as you drive, so the road has your full attention, and you can react quickly to unexpected accidents. Sending texts, scrolling social media or changing the music playlist on your phone while you drive can distract you and lead you to get into an accident when you least expect it.

Chronic Health Conditions

Some of the conditions that doctors consider chronic health problems include heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and respiratory issues like COPD. These problems can lead to life-threatening events like a stroke, heart attack, or severe bout of pneumonia that can be fatal to an older person who is already in poor health. Management of these conditions with the help of a qualified doctor can be key to living a long and healthy life. A majority of senior citizens in America have at least one chronic disease, and half of the people in this age group have two conditions. Management through diet change and medication can reduce the risk of these conditions becoming deadly.


The good news is that while cancer is a popular cause of death, the overall number of cases has dropped by more than a quarter since the early 1990s thanks to advancements in screening and treatment methods. Though cancer treatment has come a long way and many patients can be cured, there are still many lives lost each year to various forms of cancer. The best way to ensure that cancer doesn’t turn fatal is to go to regular screenings as recommended by doctors, for example, mammograms, colonoscopies, and prostate exams. This will help medical professionals catch any malignant cells early and give you the best chance of fighting the disease. Early intervention can save lives with many of the most prevalent cancers that impact Americans.

Mental Health Related Issues

The long-term effects of mental health-related issues can lead to physical and environmental issues that put older people at risk. For example, hoarding disorder impacts less than ten percent of people, but it can have serious consequences. Without treatment, hoarding can make the environment unsanitary and unsafe for the people living there. If there are animals in the home, their fur and waste can present a health hazard if not cleaned up properly. In case of a fire or another emergency, it can become impossible to exit the home in time due to the excessive amounts of junk in the way.

Many of these causes of death are preventable with proper attention to diet, health and safety.

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