archived content: as a service to our readers, harvard health publishing provides access to our library of archived content. but that’s no reason to ignore measures that could prevent deaths, especially the “low-hanging fruit” such as automobile accidents. for example, when a person in his 90s has several chronic diseases and “dies in his sleep,” the cause of death listed on the death certificate might be little more than a hunch. contrast the list above to the health concerns that rise to the top when large numbers of people are surveyed. or, perhaps the causes of death that primarily affect the elderly (such as stroke) are not as big a concern to the public as those that affect younger individuals. a recent study analyzed the causes of death in each state, and for each identified those that were significantly higher than the average elsewhere.
for example, it’s understandable (though regrettable) that agricultural states such as iowa and north dakota might have a higher than average rate of death due to machinery, or that bicycle deaths might be most common in a place like florida where the weather allows year-round biking. it’s not surprising that the top causes of death might vary from place to place. while avoiding preventable death is an important measure of health, it’s not the only one. as a service to our readers, harvard health publishing provides access to our library of archived content. please note the date of last review or update on all articles. get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss…from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts.
approximately 88,000 deaths per year in the united states are attributed to excessive alcohol consumption. foodborne illness sickens one in six americans each year and results in 3,000 deaths. however, foodborne illness is preventable, and the cdc and usda take a leading role in promoting food safety at the federal level. both heart disease and stroke are leading causes of death in the united states. about 610,000 people die of heart disease each year.
the number of new hiv diagnoses is declining, but about 44,000 people were diagnosed with hiv in 2014. in total, approximately 1.2 million americans are living with hiv, and about 13 percent do not know they are infected. educating the population about ways to prevent hiv infection, from abstinence to correct use of condoms to never sharing needles, continues to be important. the general population is aware that poor nutrition, lack of physical activity and obesity are causing numerous health problems. the cdc reports that deaths from prescription opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone have quadrupled since 1999. in response, the cdc has published prescribing guidelines for healthcare providers and encouraged states to adopt prescription drug monitoring programs. the percentage continues to decline, but smoking is still a prominent health concern in the united states. it is the leading cause of preventable disease and death.
long-term health risks can develop as well: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease and digestive problems; cancer; learning and memory health education and health educators will be expected to contribute to the reduction of the negative impact of such major health problems as heart disease, harmful use of alcohol, tobacco and drug use, lack of physical activity, unprotected sex, and previous exposure to child maltreatment all, causes of health problems, causes of health problems, health problems examples, common health problems, health problems in the community.
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