Cancer to Overtake Heart Disease as Leading Cause of Death in USEver since public health measures reduced mortality from infectious disease in the early twentieth century, the leading cause of death in the United States has been heart disease. But not for much longer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC, the leading federal public health agency in the US, predicts that cancer, currently the second leading cause of death in the United States, will overtake heart disease by 2020, the beginning of the twenty-first century.

According to the CDC report, the incidence of heart disease has been declining, in large part due to a national decline in smoking, as well as to improvements in treatment of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors, including cholesterol and high blood pressure (hypertension).

A study in the CDC-published journal Preventing Chronic Disease reveals that in thirty-one states, cancer has already overtaken heart disease at some point since the year 2000. The first state to report more cancer deaths than heart disease deaths was Minnesota, in the year 2000. Alaska, Montana, and Oregon followed in 2001. By 2014 most states had seen this switch occur at least once.

The study’s analysis reveals that the transition is no fluke. It reports that between 1999 and 2006:

  • 11 states reported higher numbers of death from cancer than from heart disease for at least 10 years
  • 13 states reported higher numbers of death from cancer than from heart disease for 5 to 9 years
  • 3 states reported higher numbers of death from cancer than from heart disease for 2-4 years
  • 4 states reported higher numbers of death from cancer than from heart disease for 1 gear
  • In only 19 states did the number of deaths from heart disease exceed the number of deaths from cancer

PACE programs keep pace with the changing needs of seniors by providing them with the support they need in the place they feel most comfortable: their own homes.

Beacon of LIFE, in Oceanport, NJ, is a government-approved PACE program maintains an interdisciplinary team of professionals who give each client the coordinated care they need. Our staff specialize in working with older people, and work with each client and their family to develop the most effective plan of care.

Our care and services allow people who would otherwise need to live in a nursing home to live where they want — in their own communities, in their own homes.

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