Leading Causes of Death for 74-Year-Olds

As we age, our bodies go through numerous changes, making us more susceptible to various health conditions. At 74 years old, individuals may face a higher risk of illnesses that can be fatal if left untreated. In this article, we'll explore the leading causes of death for 74-year-olds, including the most common diseases, accidents, and health conditions. We'll also discuss steps you can take to prioritize your health and potentially reduce your risk of these causes of death. Whether you're a senior looking to stay informed about your health or you care for an elderly loved one, understanding these common causes of death can help you make informed decisions about your health and wellbeing. (Note: See here for 73-year-old causes of death or here for the most common causes of death for 75-year-olds.)

Leading Causes of Death for 74-Year-Olds (2021 CDC Data)

Cause of DeathTotal Deaths
Heart Disease22,908
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease5,111
Accidents (Incl. Overdoses)2,134
Alzheimer's Disease1,876
Kidney Disease1,584
Parkinson's Disease1,251
Flu (Non-COVID)1,148
Liver Disease (incl. Cirrhosis)998
Pneumonitis Due To Solids & Liquids502
Nutritional Deficiency304
Gallbladder Disorder134
Peptic Ulcer114
Congenital Malformations67
Viral Hepatitis38

Based on the data provided by the CDC for 2021, heart disease and cancer are still the leading causes of death for 74-year-olds. Heart disease came in first with 22,908 deaths, while cancer followed closely behind with 21,324 deaths. The third leading cause of death is COVID-19, which is understandable given the recent pandemic. A total of 11,838 deaths have been attributed to this viral disease.

It is interesting to note that chronic lower respiratory disease continues to be a leading cause of death, with 5,111 deaths in 2021. Diabetes, accidents (including overdoses), and Alzheimer’s disease are also common causes of death, with 3,325, 2,134, and 1,876 deaths respectively. Kidney disease and septicemia are also significant contributors to mortality rates.

On the other end of the spectrum, certain causes of death are less common in 74-year-olds. For instance, homicide, hernia, viral hepatitis and HIV are among the rare causes that contribute least to the mortality of this age group.

The data suggests that a number of the most significant causes of death are rooted in chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney, and heart disease. Such diseases are often related to lifestyle, so managing cardiovascular risk factors like blood pressure and cholesterol levels through diet, regular exercise, and other interventions can help people manage the risk of developing these chronic conditions.

Overall, the data indicates that preventative measures, such as living a healthy lifestyle and managing chronic conditions, are essential for reducing mortality rates. Nonetheless, even with the best preventative measures in place, some causes of mortality, such as COVID-19, will always be difficult to prevent completely. Hence, continued research into causes and interventions must be undertaken to help improve the quality and expectance of life for the population.

Top Causes of Death for Age 74 Men

Cause of DeathTotal Deaths
Heart Disease13,422
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease2,645
Accidents (Incl. Overdoses)1,312
Parkinson's Disease834
Kidney Disease819
Alzheimer's Disease724
Flu (Non-COVID)663
Liver Disease (incl. Cirrhosis)578
Pneumonitis Due To Solids & Liquids295
Nutritional Deficiency127
Gallbladder Disorder80
Peptic Ulcer68
Viral Hepatitis38
Congenital Malformations35

The data for men who are 74 years old reveals that the top causes of death are heart disease and cancer, with 13,422 and 11,689 deaths recorded respectively. These two conditions are leading reasons behind the mortality rates for this age group of men. COVID-19 comes in at a close third with a recorded 6,839 deaths, which is also a significant contributor to mortality rates.

Chronic lower respiratory disease, diabetes, and accidents (including overdoses) are the fourth, fifth, and sixth leading causes of death for 74-year-old men, contributing to 2,645, 1,924, and 1,312 deaths, respectively. Parkinson’s disease, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and non-COVID flu are also prominent causes of mortality, accounting for 834, 819, 724, and 663 deaths, respectively.

Septicemia, liver disease (including cirrhosis), suicide, and pneumonitis due to solid and liquid contribute to the mortality of the 74-year-old male population.

In general, the men’s data is relatively similar to the general population (both men and women) in that heart disease and cancer still dominate as the leading causes of death. COVID-19 is also a significant contributor, highlighting the impact of the ongoing pandemic on the population. However, the data also emphasizes that age and biological sex play a role in the leading causes of death. Notably, suicide and hernia appear to be more prevalent among men than women.

In conclusion, the data suggests that despite specific causes of death being dominant across various groups and populations, preventative health strategies devoted to population-specific needs, such as individual health concerns, age, or sex, will continue to require adjusting for the population’s changing morbidity and mortality patterns.

Common Causes of Death for 74-Year-Old Women

Cause of DeathTotal Deaths
Heart Disease9,486
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease2,466
Alzheimer's Disease1,152
Accidents (Incl. Overdoses)822
Kidney Disease765
Flu (Non-COVID)485
Liver Disease (incl. Cirrhosis)420
Parkinson's Disease417
Pneumonitis Due To Solids & Liquids207
Nutritional Deficiency177
Gallbladder Disorder54
Peptic Ulcer46
Congenital Malformations32

The data for 74-year-old women shows that cancer is the leading cause of death with 9,635 deaths, followed closely by heart disease with 9,486 deaths. COVID-19 ranked third as a leading cause of death, accounting for 4,999 deaths in this group. Chronic lower respiratory disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease are also common causes and contribute significantly to the mortality rate.

Other common causes of death include kidney disease, septicemia, flu (non-COVID), liver disease, accidents (including overdoses), and Parkinson’s disease. Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids, nutritional deficiency, and suicide also contribute to mortality rates in this age group, albeit to a lesser extent.

The data highlights that chronic illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, and respiratory complications, are still major contributors to mortality rates among older women. Other factors like diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease need to be taken into account.

Overall, the data suggests the need for preventative measures to mitigate the risk of developing chronic diseases in this population. Nonetheless, some causes of mortality like COVID-19, which has affected older women disproportionately, is difficult to control completely. Thus, continued research and intervention are essential to improving outcomes for older women.

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