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Causes of Death: State by State

The CDC has published a color-coded map outlining the most “distinctive” causes of death for each of the 50 U.S. states.

The resulting map depicts a variety of distinctive causes of death based on a wide range of number of deaths, from 15,000 deaths from HIV in Florida to 679 deaths from tuberculosis in Texas to 22 deaths from syphilis in Louisiana.

The largest number of deaths mapped were the 37,292 deaths in Michigan from “atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, so described”; the fewest, the 11 deaths in Montana from “acute and rapidly progressive nephritic and nephrotic syndrome.” The state-specific percentage of total deaths mapped ranged from 1.8% (Delaware; atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, so described) to 0.0005% (Illinois, other disorders of kidney).

While the most common killers nationally are heart disease and cancer, the map shows what study authors call a “more nuanced view of mortality variation” within the United States. The research team started with 113 causes of death and then used a ratio to divide the mortality rates in each state by those of the whole country.


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