U.S. DEATH RATES FROM MAJOR CAUSES, 2008-2009
    Age-adjusted death rate (1)   
Cause of death Number of deaths, 2009 2008 2009 Percent change
Heart disease 598,607 186.7 179.8 -3.7%
Malignant neoplasms (tumors) 568,668 175.5 173.6 -1.1
Chronic lower respiratory diseases 137,082 44.0 42.2 -4.1
Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke) 128,603 40.6 38.9 -4.2
Accidents (unintentional injuries) 117,176 38.6 37.0 -4.1
Alzheimer's disease 78,889 24.4 23.4 -4.1
Diabetes 68,504 21.8 20.9 -4.1
Influenza and pneumonia 53,582 17.0 16.2 -4.7
Kidney disease 48,714 14.8 14.8 (3)
Intentional self-harm (suicide) 36,547 11.6 11.7 0.9
Septicemia 35,587 11.1 10.9 -1.8
Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis 30,444 9.2 9.2 (3)
Hypertension (2) 25,651 7.7 7.7 (3)
Parkinson's disease 20,552 6.4 6.4 (3)
Assault (homicide) 16,591 5.9 5.5 -6.8
All other causes 471,455 NA NA NA
All deaths 2,436,652 758.6 741.0 -2.3%

(1) Per 100,000 population; factors out differences based on age.
(2) Essential (primary) hypertension and hypertensive renal disease.
(3) Less than 0.1 percent.

NA=Not applicable.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics.