Cancer is overtaking heart disease as the leading cause of death in 22 states as of 2014, and that’s not entirely bad news.
According to a report released Wednesday by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, deaths due to heart disease have been declining ever since they peaked in 1985, while deaths due to cancer have been on the rise, as seen in this chart.
Worldwide, heart disease has long been the leading cause of death. But in the United States, the number of deaths for both heart disease and cancer have been on the rise since the 1950s, which the NCHS attributes in large part to the fact that people were living longer. But heart disease deaths in the US began to fall in the 1990s, and researchers think cancer first became a leading cause of death somewhere in the early 2010s.
By 2014, cancer was the leading cause of death in 22 states (labelled in blue):
And the US isn’t the only place this is happening. A report published in August by the European Heart Journal found that cancer is overtaking cardiovascular disease (this includes coronary heart disease and stroke) as the leading cause of death in men in 12 European countries.
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