Leading Causes of Death for 56-Year-Olds
While it's natural to focus on aging concerns such as wrinkles and hearing loss as we enter our fifties, it's also important to consider the more life-threatening effects of growing older. A study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that the most significant causes of death for those aged 56 and above include heart disease, stroke, cancer, and accidents. However, with preventive measures such as regular check-ups, healthy living practices, and vigilant monitoring of possible symptoms, you can reduce the risks of these conditions dramatically. Let's explore what you can do to boost your longevity and health in your fifties and beyond.
(Note: See here for 55-year-old causes of death or here for the most common causes of death for 57-year-olds.)
Table of Contents
Leading Causes of Death for 56-Year-Olds (2021 CDC Data)
|Cause of Death||Total Deaths|
|Accidents (Incl. Overdoses)||3,484|
|Liver Disease (incl. Cirrhosis)||1,649|
|Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease||984|
|Pneumonitis Due To Solids & Liquids||143|
According to the latest data from the CDC, heart disease, cancer, and COVID-19 were the leading causes of death for 56-year-olds in 2021. Specifically, heart disease was the leading cause, claiming the lives of 8,114 individuals in this age group. Cancer came in a close second with 7,226 deaths, followed by COVID-19 with 5,940 deaths.
Accidents, including overdose, were responsible for 3,484 deaths among 56-year-olds, making it the fourth leading cause of death. Liver disease, which includes cirrhosis, was responsible for 1,649 deaths, while diabetes caused the death of 1,402 individuals. Chronic lower respiratory disease claimed the lives of 984 individuals in this age group, followed by suicide with 748 deaths.
Kidney disease and septicemia were responsible for 443 and 440 deaths respectively, while flu (non-COVID) caused the death of 364 individuals. Homicide, on the other hand, was responsible for 222 deaths, while HIV claimed the lives of 148 individuals. Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids was responsible for 143 deaths, while congenital malformations and viral hepatitis were responsible for 97 and 56 deaths, respectively.
Alzheimer’s disease and nutritional deficiency caused the death of 42 and 27 individuals, respectively. Peptic ulcer, on the other hand, was responsible for 26 deaths among 56-year-olds in 2021.
Overall, the data highlights the significant impact of heart disease, cancer, and COVID-19 on mortality rates among 56-year-olds. The data may be useful in informing public health policies and interventions aimed at reducing mortality rates in this age group.
Top Causes of Death for Age 56 Men
|Cause of Death||Total Deaths|
|Accidents (Incl. Overdoses)||2,501|
|Liver Disease (incl. Cirrhosis)||1,084|
|Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease||452|
|Pneumonitis Due To Solids & Liquids||96|
Looking at the mortality data specifically for men aged 56, heart disease was still the leading cause of death, claiming the lives of 5,582 men in this age group. COVID-19 was the second leading cause of death, responsible for 3,764 deaths, followed closely by cancer with 3,682 deaths. Accidents, including overdoses, were responsible for 2,501 deaths, making it the fourth leading cause of death for men aged 56.
Liver disease, which includes cirrhosis, and diabetes were responsible for 1,084 and 916 deaths, respectively. Suicide claimed the lives of 547 men in this age group, while chronic lower respiratory disease caused 452 deaths. Kidney disease and septicemia were responsible for 267 and 249 deaths, respectively. Flu (non-COVID) caused the death of 205 men, while homicide was responsible for 166 deaths among 56-year-old men.
In addition, HIV claimed the lives of 112 men in this age group, while pneumonitis due to solids and liquids was responsible for 96 deaths. Congenital malformations and viral hepatitis caused the death of 52 and 56-year-old men, respectively. Nutritional deficiency and peptic ulcer caused the death of 27 and 26 men, respectively.
Overall, the leading causes of death in men aged 56 were heart disease, COVID-19, and cancer. Accidents, liver disease, diabetes, and suicide were also significant contributors to mortality rates in this age group. The data emphasizes the importance of interventions to address these leading causes of death in order to decrease mortality rates among men aged 56.
Common Causes of Death for 56-Year-Old Women
|Cause of Death||Total Deaths|
|Accidents (Incl. Overdoses)||983|
|Liver Disease (incl. Cirrhosis)||565|
|Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease||532|
|Pneumonitis Due To Solids & Liquids||47|
The mortality data for 56-year-old women from CDC reveals that cancer was the leading cause of death among women of this age, with a total of 3,544 deaths reported. Heart disease was the second leading cause, resulting in the death of 2,532 women. COVID-19 was also a significant cause of mortality, with 2,176 deaths reported.
Other leading causes of death among women aged 56 included accidents (including overdoses) with 983 deaths, liver disease (including cirrhosis) with 565 deaths, and chronic lower respiratory disease with 532 deaths. Diabetes was responsible for the deaths of 486 women, and suicide claimed the lives of 201 women in this age group.
Septicemia was responsible for the deaths of 191 women, while kidney disease caused the death of 176 women. Flu (non-COVID) was responsible for 159 deaths, while homicide caused the death of 56 women. Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids caused 47 deaths, and 45 women died from congenital malformations. Alzheimer’s disease was responsible for 42 deaths, while HIV claimed the lives of 36 women in this age group.
Overall, the data reveals that cancer was the top cause of death among 56-year-old women, followed by heart disease and COVID-19. Accidents (including overdoses) and liver disease were also significant contributors to mortality rates among women in this age group.
15 companies competing for your business
97% of the time we beat Colonial Penn
30 days to get your money back, no questions asked
* Based on website quote requests, through 2/28/23.
(Check your rate to see their rates vs. ours)