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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
January 10, 2017

Drop in Preventable Cancer Deaths

JAMA. 2017;317(2):128. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.19514

Better disease detection and treatment as well as lower smoking rates have helped cut potentially preventable cancer deaths, a recent study reported. However, the data also showed that prescription and illicit drug overdoses and falls among elderly adults fueled an increase in avoidable unintentional injury deaths.

Researchers at the CDC analyzed the 5 leading causes of death in US residents younger than 80 years—heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory disease (asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema), and unintentional injuries—which together accounted for 63% of all deaths in 2014. The analysis estimated that 30% of heart disease, 15% of cancer, 43% of unintentional injuries, 36% of chronic lower respiratory disease (CLRD), and 28% of strokes were potentially preventable.