Leading Causes of Death for 65-Year-Olds

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Leading Causes of Death for 65-Year-Olds (2021 CDC Data)

Heart Disease15,561
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease2,894
Accidents (Incl. Overdoses)2,724
Liver Disease (incl. Cirrhosis)1,674
Kidney Disease974
Flu (Non-COVID)710
Pneumonitis Due To Solids & Liquids335
Alzheimer’s Disease329
Parkinson’s Disease234
Viral Hepatitis155
Nutritional Deficiency150
Congenital Malformations103
Peptic Ulcer77
Gallbladder Disorder68

According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cancer and heart disease remain the leading causes of death for 65-year-olds in the United States. In 2021, cancer claimed the lives of 15,629 individuals in this age group, while heart disease caused 15,561 deaths.

However, it’s worth noting that COVID-19 has also had a significant impact on mortality rates in this demographic, causing 9,371 deaths in 2021 so far. Chronic lower respiratory disease, accidents (including overdoses), and diabetes also continue to be major contributors to mortality among 65-year-olds.

Other notable causes of death in this age group include liver disease (including cirrhosis), kidney disease, and septicemia. Suicide, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease also result in a significant number of deaths each year.

Interestingly, some causes of death that may be more commonly associated with younger individuals, such as homicide and HIV, also appear on this list. However, such causes of death are much less common than cancer, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses.

Overall, while there is some variation from year to year, the leading causes of death among 65-year-olds in the United States remain relatively consistent. Researchers and healthcare professionals will continue to closely monitor mortality rates in this demographic to develop strategies and interventions to improve health outcomes in the future.

Top Causes of Death for Age 65 Men

Cause of DeathTotal Deaths
Heart Disease10,204
Accidents (Incl. Overdoses)1,939
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease1,560
Liver Disease (incl. Cirrhosis)1,133
Kidney Disease548
Flu (Non-COVID)422
Pneumonitis Due To Solids & Liquids203
Alzheimer’s Disease149
Parkinson’s Disease140
Viral Hepatitis108
Nutritional Deficiency66
Congenital Malformations57
Gallbladder Disorder40
Peptic Ulcer37

After analyzing the mortality data for age 65 men, it is clear that heart disease and cancer remain the two most common causes of death. In 2021, heart disease was responsible for 10,204 deaths in this demographic, while cancer caused 8,663 deaths.

In addition to these “leading causes of death,” COVID-19 has also had a significant impact in men of this age group, causing 5,541 deaths so far this year. Other common causes of death in this group include accidents (including overdoses), chronic lower respiratory disease, and diabetes.

Liver disease (including cirrhosis), kidney disease, septicemia, and suicide are also among the primary causes of death for age 65 men. In contrast, certain causes of mortality that appear farther down the list, such as gallbladder disorder and peptic ulcer, are relatively less common.

Overall, the mortality data shows that heart disease and cancer remain two of the most prevalent conditions leading to death among men over 65. However, it’s also clear that COVID-19, accidents, chronic lower respiratory disease, and other factors play a significant role in mortality for this age group. Understanding these trends can help inform the development of effective public health strategies and interventions to improve health outcomes for men in this demographic.

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Common Causes of Death for 65-Year-Old Women

Cause of DeathTotal Deaths
Heart Disease5,357
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease1,334
Accidents (Incl. Overdoses)785
Liver Disease (incl. Cirrhosis)541
Kidney Disease426
Flu (Non-COVID)288
Alzheimer’s Disease180
Pneumonitis Due To Solids & Liquids132
Parkinson’s Disease94
Nutritional Deficiency84
Viral Hepatitis47
Congenital Malformations46
Peptic Ulcer40
Gallbladder Disorder28

Examining the data for 65-year-old women, we can see that cancer and heart disease are once again the most common causes of death. Specifically, cancer resulted in 6,966 deaths and heart disease caused 5,357 deaths in this group.

COVID-19 also had a significant impact, causing 3,830 deaths among 65-year-old women. Chronic lower respiratory disease, diabetes, and accidents (including overdoses) were also among the top causes of death.

Liver disease (including cirrhosis), kidney disease, and septicemia accounted for additional deaths. Alzheimer’s disease, pneumonia, and suicide were also leading causes of death among this population.

Other causes of death that appeared on the list included viral hepatitis, homicide, anemias, peptic ulcer, HIV, enterocolitis, and gallbladder disorder.

Overall, the leading causes of death for 65-year-old women are similar to those for the general population of this age group with cancer and heart disease taking the lead. COVID-19 and chronic lower respiratory disease also seem to be more prominent causes of death among women compared to men.