Facts and figures from the 2009 almanac of American death, part 2

December 21, 2012

Yesterday, I wrote about different ways that Americans die, with a focus on what role guns play compared to other causes of death.

Much of the post was based on a report, Deaths: Final Data for 2009, that spans 119 pages and is supplemented by 11 pages of additional tables. As previously noted, the Centers for Disease Control has sliced and diced the data in multiple ways.

I found a number of fascinating facts and figures in this almanac of American death. Because this information can be difficult for readers to digest in bulk, this is the second post in a series presenting excerpts from the report.

I’m planning to post more items containing 2009 death data on Monday and Tuesday of next week; the first item went live Thursday evening. And now, some additional fatality facts:

• A child born in 2009 had an expected life span of 78.5 years. The rate was 76 years for males and 80.9 years for females. For all races, females have longer expected life spans than males.

• A black child born in 2009 was expected to live 74.5 years; a white child, 78.8 years; a Hispanic child, 81.2 years; a non-Hispanic black child, 74.2 years.

• Alzheimer’s disease was first recognized as a cause of death in the late 1970s. It is now the nation’s sixth-leading taker of lives, claiming 79,003 victims in 2009.

• Flu killed 2,918 individuals; pneumonia, 50,774. These two diseases, per CDC calculations, claimed 17.5 out of every 100,000 Americans.

• The rate of flu and pneumonia deaths was 5.9 deaths per 100,000 children younger than 1 year. The rates were 1.9 for those 25 to 34; 3.2 for those 35 to 44; 6.5 for those 45 to 54; 11.9 for those 55 to 64; 30.1 for those 65 to 74; and more than 100 for even older Americans.

• Pregnancy-related causes killed 960 women.

• Thirty-four of pregnancy-related fatalities involved the death of the fetus due to miscarriage, deliberate abortions or failed abortions. The oldest woman to die from these causes was between 65 and 74. (The survey does not count embryonic or fetal deaths.)

• Diseases of the appendix claimed 426 victims; kidney infections, 604; hernias, 1,801.

• Complications of medical and surgical care killed 2,616 people.

• Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities killed 9,863 people, of which 5,319 were younger than 1.

• “Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified” accounted for 39,829 deaths.

• The CDC’s catchall category, “all other diseases,” covered 252,818 fatalities.

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