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CDC map reveals that the ‘most distinctive’ cause of death in your state may surprise you

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The Most Distinctive Causes of Death by State, 2001-2010 (CDC)

A new map published by CDC shows the most distinctive causes of death for each of the 50 U.S. states, reports Benchmark Reporter.

While heart disease and cancer are two leading causes of death across the U.S., certain causes of death are more common in some states than in others. Two researchers at CDC, Dr. Francis P. Boscoe and Eva Pradhan, used the List of 133 Selected Causes of Death published by the National Center for Health Statistics and CDC’s Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research from 2001 to 2010 to map out the most distinctive causes of death in each of the 50 states.

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For some states, the most distinctive causes of death are intuitive, according to Dr. Boscoe. For instance, death caused by the flu is more common in several northern states such as Maine, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming than in other parts of the country. Plane crashes and boat accidents are the most distinctive causes of deaths in Alaska and Idaho, where certain places in these states are only accessible by plane or boat. In mining states such as Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky, pneumoconiosis, a group of lung diseases caused by inhaling dusts, is the most distinctive cause of death.

In other states, however, the most distinctive deaths are quite unexpected. For instance, Florida has higher rate of HIV-caused deaths than other states with 15,000 deaths in the studied period. Although only 22 deaths were caused by syphilis in Louisiana, the disease is the most distinctive cause of death in that state.

The map also may suggest cultural differences and various public health challenges across the states. For instance, the most distinctive cause of death in Oregon, Nevada and New Mexico is legal intervention. In Tennessee and Alabama, it is accidental discharge of firearms, and in Arizona and Arkansas, discharge of firearms with undetermined intent. In New York and Connecticut, the most distinctive cause of death is inflammatory diseases of female pelvic organs, which may suggest challenges in women’s healthcare in these states.

Boscoe FP, Pradhan E. The Most Distinctive Causes of Death by State, 2001–2010. Prev Chronic Dis 2015;12:140395. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd12.140395.

Boscoe FP, Pradhan E. The Most Distinctive Causes of Death by State, 2001–2010. Prev Chronic Dis 2015;12:140395. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd12.140395.

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