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March 27, 2018

Infectious Diseases Mortality in the United States: Ongoing Investment Needed for Continued Progress

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 2Associate Editor, JAMA
JAMA. 2018;319(12):1205-1206. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.1525

Infectious disease is distinguished from most other fields of medicine by constant and rapid change. As microorganisms emerge, new treatment and prevention strategies also evolve. Although much progress has been made, infections remain a major and often preventable cause of death worldwide.

In this issue of JAMA, el Bcheraoui and colleagues1 report mortality trends for major infectious diseases in the United States, both nationally and at the county level, using data from the National Center for Health Statistics. In one of the first studies of its kind, the authors used deidentified death records to examine mortality trends for the most common causes of infectious diseases mortality, including lower respiratory infection, diarrheal disease, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis (excluding chronic hepatitis B and C), meningitis, and tuberculosis.