What We Learned This Week: June 29th, 2012Enjoy HealthCentral's picks of five interesting, thrilling, frightening and amusing health stories we found this week.
The evolution of what kills us
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The New England Journal of Medicine’s current issue found that the overall mortality rate of America has dramatically declined and the common causes of death are far less varied than they were 100 years ago.
The study found that in 1900,, there were 1100 deaths per 100,000 people every year, and that the common causes included pneumonia, tuberculosis, gastrointestinal infections, cerebrovascular disease, nephropathies and diphtheria.
In 2010,, the mortality rate was significantly lower – about 600 deaths per 100,000 people – and most people die from one of two causes: heart disease, which killed 192.9 of 100,000 people and cancer, which killed 185.9 of 100,000 people and.
Experts suggest that an increasingly sedentary lifestyle among Americans accounts for the spikes in heart disease and cancer. They also noted that vaccines, preventive screenings and other medical advances explain the drop in the variety of fatal illnesses.