The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a map which suggests that in spite of the widespread belief according to which cancer and heart disease are the most common death causes of death in the US certain states are characterized by less common causes of death. The map appeared in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.
The conclusion was indeed that cancer and heart disease were the most common cause, but the authors of the study wanted to offer the US residents a more detailed image of the country’s mortality variation. Co-author of the study, Francis Boscoe of the New York State Cancer Registry described the map as a colorful and provocative way of beginning a discussion and draw attention to a series of unusual things which are going on.
The data used for the map was collected between 2001 and 2010. “The most distinctive causes of death” as it is written on the map refers to deaths which are rated higher when compared to the national average. The distinct causes of death range from flu to HIV. Many could be surprised by the numbers of the map. Nearly 15.000 people died of HIV in Florida, whereas in Louisiana where the most distinctive death cause was syphilis only 22 persons died because of it.
According to the map flu was the most distinctive death cause in Maine, Wyoming and North and South Dakota. In mining states such as Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky the most typical cause was lung disease. In New Mexico, Oregon and Nevada law enforcement officers were accountable for higher deaths. In New York and Connecticut distinctive deaths were caused by inflammatory diseases of pelvic organs.
In many states the most distinctive cause of death did not necessarily cause many victims. According to Boscoe even if a death cause almost does not exist in the other states of the country but only one state has a handful of deaths caused by that factor it will appear on the map. Anyhow this could also be an anomaly generated by the country healthcare professionals which have not handles the paperwork properly.
The authors of the study remarked:
“Although chronic-disease-prevention efforts should continue to emphasize the most common national]conditions, an outlier map such as this one should also be of interest to public health professionals.”
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