Is Cancer Gaining on Heart Disease?
Overall, heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the U.S., and has been every year since 1910 (except for 1918 during the Spanish flu epidemic). But, according to new information from the National Vital Statistics System, in 2014, more people died of cancer than cardiovascular disease in 22 states. This is a substantial increase from 2002, when cancer caused more deaths in just two states.
While the reasons for this are not yet known, it may be because cancer is more complex than heart disease and often more difficult to treat. It also might be related to obesity—which is a primary risk factor for heart disease and also is associated with an increased risk for certain types of cancer.
Currently, heart disease remains the leading cause of death in Caucasians and African Americans, and cancer causes more deaths in Hispanics and Asian-Americans. Heart disease also remains the number one cause of death in women.
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