List of causes of death by rate

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Main article: Cause of death

The following is a list of the causes of human deaths worldwide for the year 2002, arranged by their associated mortality rates. There were 57,029,000 deaths tabulated for that year. Some causes listed include deaths also included in more specific subordinate causes (as indicated by the "Group" column), and some causes are omitted, so the percentages do not sum to 100. According to the World Health Organization, about 58 million people died in 2005.[1] The WHO classifies cause of death using the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD).

Causes ranked by frequency[edit]

Note: Tinted backgrounds indicate items that also appear in subsequent table. Percentage figures add to more than 100% because some deaths appear in both broadly-defined and narrowly defined categories; for example, Cardiovascular Deaths includes deaths from both Ischaemic Heart Disease and Stroke.

Mortality Rates (death rate per year, from data for 2002[2])
Group[3]Cause Percent 
deaths (Group)
deaths (SubGroup)
All Deaths
per 100,000
Male Deaths
per 100,000
Female Deaths
per 100,000
All Causes100.0100.0916.1954.7877.1
ACardiovascular diseases29.34268.8259.3278.4
BInfectious and parasitic diseases23.04211.3221.7200.4
A.1Ischemic heart disease12.64115.8121.4110.1
CMalignant neoplasms (cancers)12.49114.4126.9101.7
A.2Cerebrovascular disease (Stroke)9.6688.585.495.6
B.1Respiratory infections6.9563.763.563.8
B.1.1Lower respiratory tract infections6.8162.462.262.6
DRespiratory diseases6.4959.561.157.9
EUnintentional injuries6.2357.073.740.2
D.1Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease4.8244.145.143.1
Perinatal conditions4.324.3239.643.735.4
FDigestive diseases3.4531.634.928.2
B.3Diarrhea diseases3.1528.930.027.8
GIntentional injuries (Suicide, Violence, War, etc.)2.8426.037.014.9
C.1Lung cancer2.1820.028.411.4
E.1Road traffic accidents2.0919.140.810.4
B.6Childhood diseases1.9718.118.018.2
HNeuropsychiatric disorders1.9517.918.417.3
Diabetes mellitus1.731.7315.914.117.7
A.3Hypertensive heart disease1.6014.613.415.9
C.2Stomach cancer1.4913.716.710.5
IDiseases of the genitourinary system1.4913.614.113.1
F.1Cirrhosis of the liver1.3812.616.19.1
C.3Colorectal cancer1.0910.010.39.7
C.4Liver cancer1.089.913.66.2
Maternal conditions0.890.898.20.016.5
Congenital abnormalities0.860.867.98.17.7
JNutritional deficiencies0.857.86.98.7
C.5Breast cancer0.847.70.115.3
C.6Esophageal cancer0.787.29.15.2
A.4Inflammatory heart disease0.716.56.76.2
H.1Alzheimer's disease and other dementias0.706.44.78.1
C.7Lymphomas, multiple myeloma0.595.45.45.4
A.5Rheumatic heart disease0.575.34.46.1
C.8Oral and oropharynx cancers0.565.17.13.1
C.9Prostate cancer0.474.38.60.0
F.2Peptic ulcer disease0.464.25.03.5
J.1Protein-energy malnutrition0.464.24.24.2
Endocrine/nutritional disorders0.430.433.93.44.4
C.11Cervical cancer0.423.80.07.7
C.12Pancreatic cancer0.413.73.93.5
B.7Sexually transmitted diseases excluding HIV/AIDS0.322.92.92.9
C.13Bladder cancer0.312.94.01.7
Neoplasms other than malignant0.
J.2Iron deficiency anemia0.
C.14Ovarian cancer0.
B.9Tropical diseases excluding malaria0.
Musculoskeletal diseases0.
B.10Hepatitis B0.
H.3Parkinson's disease0.
H.4Alcohol use disorders0.
H.5Drug use disorders0.
B.1.2Upper respiratory infections0.
C.15Uterine cancer0.
Skin diseases0.
C.16Melanoma and other skin cancers0.
B.11Hepatitis C0.
I.2Benign prostatic hyperplasia0.

Malnutrition as an underlying cause[edit]

Malnutrition can be identified as an underlying cause for shortened life.[4] 70% of childhood deaths (age 0-4) are reportedly due to diarrheal illness, acute respiratory infection, malaria and immunizable disease. However, of these childhood deaths, 56% can be attributed to the effects of malnutrition as an underlying cause.[5] The effects of malnutrition include increased susceptibility to infection,[6] musculature wasting, skeletal deformities and neurologic development delays.[7] According to the World Health Organization, malnutrition is named as the biggest contributor to child mortality [8] with 36 million deaths in 2005 related to malnutrition. [9]

Developed vs. developing economies[edit]

Top causes of death, according to the World Health Organization report for the calendar year 2001:[10]

Causes of death in undeveloped countriesNumber of deathsCauses of death in developed countriesNumber of deaths
HIV-AIDS2,678,000Ischaemic heart disease3,512,000
Lower respiratory infections2,643,000Cerebrovascular disease3,346,000
Ischaemic heart disease2,484,000Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease1,829,000
Diarrhea1,793,000Lower respiratory infections1,180,000
Cerebrovascular disease1,381,000Lung cancer938,000
Childhood diseases1,217,000Car crash669,000
Malaria1,103,000Stomach cancer657,000
Tuberculosis1,021,000Hypertensive heart disease635,000
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease748,000Tuberculosis571,000

United States[edit]

By age group[edit]

Leading causes of death in the United States by age group.[11]
Leading causes of death in the United States, as percentage of deaths in each age group.[11] Perinatal mortality (<1yrs of age) seldom falls in any of these causes.
Death by age group as rate compared to the age group with highest rate.[11]

By occupation[edit]

With an average of 123.6 deaths per 100,000 from 2003 through 2010 the most dangerous occupation in the United States is the tower industry.[12]

Number and rate of fatal occupational injuries, by industry sector, 2006 in the United States.[13]
Selected occupations with high fatality rates, 2011, in the United States.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ WHO (2005). "Cancer". 
  2. ^ World Health Organization (2004). "Annex Table 2: Deaths by cause, sex and mortality stratum in WHO regions, estimates for 2002" (PDF). The world health report 2004 - changing history. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  3. ^ Group is a value showing the relationship of groups of causes; for instance, statistics for "A" (cardiovascular diseases) include those for "A.1" (ischemic heart disease), "A.2" (cerebrovascular disease), and so on. If no value is shown for a cause, there are no other causes grouped with that cause.
  4. ^ "Mortality In Second And Third Degree Malnutrition". 2014-06-03. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  5. ^ USA (2014-01-24). "The effects of malnutrition on child mortality in developing countries". Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  6. ^ "Some effects of malnutrition on the immune response in man". 1974-06-01. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  7. ^ "Elsevier". Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  8. ^ Stay informed today and every day (2008-01-24). "Malnutrition: The starvelings". The Economist. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  9. ^ Ziegler, Jean (2007). L'Empire de la honte. Fayard
  10. ^ "". 2004-02-18. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  11. ^ a b c (PDF). National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 50, No. 15. September 16, 2002  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b "Bureau of Labor Statistics; NATIONAL CENSUS OF FATAL OCCUPATIONAL INJURIES IN 2006" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-06-09.