U.S. Death Rate Reaches All-Time Low

In 2009, death rate hits 741 per 100,000 population, a 2.3 percent decline

WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- The age-adjusted death rate for the United States has fallen for 10 straight years and has reached an all-time low of 741 per 100,000, or 2,436,682 deaths, in 2009, down 2.3 percent from 2008, according to a new report issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

The report is based on more than 96 percent of death certificates from all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories that were reported to the center through the National Vital Statistics System.

According to the report, the age-adjusted death rate decreased from 758.7 deaths per 100,000 population in 2008 to 741.0 deaths per 100,000 population in 2009. Total deaths fell from 2,473,018 in 2008 to 2,436,682 in 2009. From 2008 to 2009, age-adjusted death rates fell significantly for 10 of the 15 leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, accidents, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes mellitus, influenza and pneumonia, septicemia, and homicide. Life expectancy increased from 78.0 years in 2008 to 78.2 years in 2009.

"Statistically significant decreases in mortality from 2008 to 2009 were registered for those under 1 year, 1 to 4 years, 15 to 24 years and across age groups ranging 55 to 84 years of age. Other age groups did not experience significant change," the authors write.

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