Leading Causes of Death for 55-Year-Olds

When we reach the age of 55, we may reflect on the many wonderful memories and experiences we have had in life. However, it’s essential to consider that certain factors could compromise our health and ultimately, shorten our lifespan. In this article, we will examine the primary causes of death for individuals who reach 55 years old. From common ailments such as heart disease and cancer to external factors such as accidents, we will explore the top reasons why people lose their lives in their 50s. Moreover, we’ll provide valuable lifestyle tips on how to protect your health and increase your odds of living a long, fulfilling life. So, let’s dive into the leading causes of death for 55-year-olds and learn how to safeguard our well-being. (Note: See here for 54-year-old causes of death or here for the most common causes of death for 56-year-olds.)

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Leading Causes of Death for 55-Year-Olds (2021 CDC Data)

Cause of DeathTotal Deaths
Heart Disease7,050
Cancer6,221
COVID-195,216
Accidents (Incl. Overdoses)3,398
Liver Disease (incl. Cirrhosis)1,492
Diabetes1,255
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease784
Suicide699
Septicemia409
Kidney Disease377
Flu (Non-COVID)298
Homicide206
HIV153
Pneumonitis Due To Solids & Liquids117
Congenital Malformations96
Viral Hepatitis59
Nutritional Deficiency31
Peptic Ulcer28

According to the latest mortality data from the CDC for 2021, heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for 55-year-olds, accounting for over 7,000 deaths. Cancer is a close second with over 6,000 deaths, followed by COVID-19 with over 5,000 deaths.

Accidents, including overdoses, are the fourth leading cause of death, with over 3,000 deaths. Liver disease, including cirrhosis, is the fifth leading cause of death for 55-year-olds, with over 1,000 deaths.

Diabetes, chronic lower respiratory disease, suicide, septicemia, and kidney disease are other leading causes of death, each accounting for several hundred deaths.

Interestingly, there are some surprising causes of death on the list, such as flu (non-COVID) and homicide, each accounting for several hundred deaths. HIV, viral hepatitis, nutritional deficiency, and peptic ulcer are less common causes of death, each accounting for less than 200 deaths.

Overall, this data from the CDC provides valuable information on the leading causes of death for 55-year-olds in the United States. The information can be used to inform public health policy, medical research, and healthcare services to help prevent and treat these causes of death.

Top Causes of Death for Age 55 Men

Cause of DeathTotal Deaths
Heart Disease4,843
COVID-193,243
Cancer3,177
Accidents (Incl. Overdoses)2,413
Liver Disease (incl. Cirrhosis)999
Diabetes821
Suicide526
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease389
Kidney Disease249
Septicemia244
Flu (Non-COVID)175
Homicide160
HIV117
Pneumonitis Due To Solids & Liquids65
Viral Hepatitis59
Congenital Malformations48
Peptic Ulcer28

The data shows that heart disease remains the top cause of death for 55-year-old men, with over 4,800 deaths. COVID-19 is the second leading cause of death for this demographic, accounting for over 3,200 deaths. Cancer is the third leading cause of death, with over 3,100 deaths.

Accidents, including drug overdoses, are the fourth leading cause of death for 55-year-old men, with over 2,400 deaths. Liver disease, including cirrhosis, is the fifth leading cause of death with almost 1,000 deaths.

Other leading causes of death for 55-year-old men include diabetes, suicide, chronic lower respiratory disease, kidney disease, and septicemia. The data also reveals that flu (non-COVID), homicide, HIV, pneumonitis due to solids and liquids, viral hepatitis, congenital malformations, and peptic ulcer disease are lesser causes of death, each accounting for less than 200 deaths.

Overall, this mortality data shows a high incidence of preventable and treatable causes of death among men over 55, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. These findings highlight the importance of public health initiatives and research focusing on preventing and managing chronic diseases, while also addressing risk factors such as substance abuse and mental health issues.

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Common Causes of Death for 55-Year-Old Women

Cause of DeathTotal Deaths
Cancer3,044
Heart Disease2,207
COVID-191,973
Accidents (Incl. Overdoses)985
Liver Disease (incl. Cirrhosis)493
Diabetes434
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease395
Suicide173
Septicemia165
Kidney Disease128
Flu (Non-COVID)123
Pneumonitis Due To Solids & Liquids52
Congenital Malformations48
Homicide46
HIV36
Nutritional Deficiency31

The mortality data for 55-year-old women in 2021 shows that cancer is the leading cause of death, with 3,044 deaths. Heart disease is the second leading cause of death, with 2,207 deaths, followed by COVID-19 with 1,973 deaths.

Accidents, including overdoses, are the fourth leading cause of death for 55-year-old women, with 985 deaths, while liver disease, including cirrhosis, is the fifth leading cause, with 493 deaths.

Other leading causes of death for 55-year-old women include diabetes, chronic lower respiratory disease, suicide, septicemia, kidney disease, and flu (non-COVID). Congenital malformations, homicide, HIV, nutritional deficiency, and pneumonitis due to solids and liquids are less common causes of death, each accounting for fewer than 100 deaths.

Overall, the data shows that cancer and heart disease continue to be the leading causes of death for 55-year-old women in 2021, as they are for the general population. Accidents, liver disease, and respiratory disease are also significant causes of death for women. The data highlights the need for continued research and public health efforts to prevent and treat these leading causes of death in women.