(HealthDay News) – From 1935–2010, the death rate in the United States decreased considerably, although the single-year improvements in mortality were often small.
Donna L. Hoyert, PhD, from the NCHS in Hyattsville, MD, used data from the National Vital Statistics System over a 75-year period to examine long-term US mortality trends.
The author found that, from 1935–2010, the age-adjusted risk of dying decreased 60%, although the single-year improvements were often modest. Every year between 1935–2010, heart disease, cancer, and stroke were among the five leading causes of death. For all age groups, the risk of dying decreased, ranging from a 94% decrease for those aged 1–4 years to a 38% decrease for those aged >85 years. Compared with females, the age-adjusted death rates were consistently higher for males, but both decreased during the study period; for example, the death rate was 65% higher for males than females between 1975–1981, compared with a 40% higher rate in 2010. For all race subgroups the risk of dying decreased during the 75-year period, but differences persisted between the groups.
“While the overall risk of mortality decreased 60 percent over this 75-year period, there were fluctuations in the rate of decline most likely associated with changes in the broader environment,” Hoyert concludes.