It may not be the cheeriest of dinnertime conversations but understanding death and the way in which we depart this world can have a profound impact on the way we live our lives. It can also expose glaring holes in our health care system and help channel resources into the areas where we need it most.
#1. Heart Disease
The top two causes of death on this list are so endemic in American society that they alone account for 46% of deaths in the United States. Heart disease kills more than 24% of Americans every year.
A sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and smoking increase an individual’s risk of heart disease. Quitting smoking, doing 30 minutes of exercise per day, and eating a healthier diet are all ways of reducing your risk of heart disease and contribute to a longer, healthier life.
Coming in just behind heart disease, cancer accounts for almost 23% of deaths in the US each year. While there is no specific way to prevent cancer altogether, there are ways of reducing your risk of cancer. Smoking, obesity, drinking alcohol, and exposure to ultraviolet light all increase the risk of cancer. Get regular cancer screenings and checkups with your doctor to ensure you are cancer-free.
#3. Medical Error
This may come as a surprise, but the third-leading cause of death in the United States is a medical error. Medical professionals are human and make mistakes. When they do, the results can be catastrophic. More than 250,000 Americans die each year because of human error, which is 9.7% of all yearly deaths registered across the country.
Unlike other causes of death, medical professionals can be liable in the event medical malpractice is confirmed. This means that the victims of medical malpractice and their loved ones may be entitled to financial compensation and reward if they suffered unnecessary harm due to medical malpractice and human error.
#4. Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases
Although more common among women over the age of 65, the respiratory disease can affect anyone of any age. People with a history of smoking, or those who live with smokers and regularly inhale secondhand smoke, are the most at risk. However, lower-income households and those that live in larger cities are also more at risk of developing respiratory complications.
Quitting smoking and reducing your exposure to the cigarette smoke of others are the two best ways to prevent respiratory problems in later life. On a national level, programs to improve the air quality in major cities would also have positive effects on bringing the number of people dying from respiratory diseases down.
Whether it is a road traffic accident, an unexpected fall, or an accident at work, unintentional accidents round out the list as the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States. People with dangerous jobs and men between 18 and 44 are most at risk.
You can minimize your risk of an accident by exercising caution and taking appropriate safety precautions when driving cars or working in potentially risky situations.
Making yourself aware of the leading causes of death can help you live a longer, healthier life. It can also help you become aware of the possibilities for compensation for your loved ones should you fall victim to medical error or be injured or killed as a result of an accident that was not your fault. Your loved ones do not have to suffer in silence. Attorneys are there to ensure justice is served and those responsible for the death of another are held accountable.
About The Author:
Stacey Smith is a freelance health writer. She is passionate to write about women’s health, dental health, diabetes, endocrinology and nutrition and provides in-depth features on the latest in health news for medical clinics and health magazines.