How are We Going to Die, Girls?

I seem to be on a death-roll! My previous two posts are death-related. I’m not feeling particularly morbid however, I’m feeling brimming with health as a matter of fact. But the Empire State Building was lit in pink last night for breast cancer awareness and it got me thinking. Heart attacks, lung and pancreatic cancer worry me more.

Here are the leading causes of death in women according to the latest CDC data (2010). They lump all the different cancers into one statistic, but on another page they note that more women get breast cancer vs lung cancer, but more women die from lung cancer vs breast cancer. Colorectal cancer comes in third, and pancreatic cancer is not mentioned.

From, “Pancreatic cancer is the ninth most common cancer in women and the fourth leading cause of cancer death in men and women.”

1) Heart disease 23.5%
2) Cancer 22.1%
3) Stroke 6.2%
4) Chronic lower respiratory diseases 5.9%
5) Alzheimer’s disease 4.7%
6) Unintentional injuries 3.6%
7) Diabetes 2.7%
8) Influenza and pneumonia 2.1%
9) Kidney disease 2.1%
10) Septicemia 1.5%

Here are the stats for England and Wales (from the Office for National Statistics, 2012). I wonder if the larger percentage of deaths due to dementia and Alzheimer’s is because their data is more current?

1) Dementia and Alzheimer’s 11.50%
2) Heart disease 10.30%
3) Stroke 8.40%
4) Flu/pneumonia 5.80%
5) Emphysema/bronchitis 5.50%
6) Lung cancer 5.20%
7) Breast cancer 4%
8) Bowel cancer 2.50%
9) Urinary disease 2.10%
10) Heart failure 2%

Here is the beautiful pink Empire State Building. Not much of a consolation after that dreary post, but it was spectacular.

Empire State Building in Pink

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

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