Leading Causes of Death for 77-Year-Olds

As we age, our bodies become more vulnerable to illness and disease. This is why it’s important for older adults to stay on top of their health and take preventative measures to avoid serious health issues. If you or someone you know has reached the age of 77, it’s important to be aware of the leading causes of death for individuals in this age group. In this article, we’ll explore these primary health concerns and provide helpful tips for promoting good health and longevity. So, let’s take a closer look at the top causes of death for 77-year-olds. (Note: See here for 76-year-old causes of death or here for the most common causes of death for 78-year-olds.)

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Leading Causes of Death for 77-Year-Olds (2021 CDC Data)

Cause of DeathTotal Deaths
Heart Disease21,724
Cancer17,797
COVID-1910,333
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease4,885
Diabetes2,839
Alzheimer’s Disease2,599
Accidents (Incl. Overdoses)1,979
Kidney Disease1,551
Parkinson’s Disease1,493
Septicemia1,120
Flu (Non-COVID)1,084
Liver Disease (incl. Cirrhosis)749
Pneumonitis Due To Solids & Liquids521
Suicide360
Nutritional Deficiency342
Anemias150
Enterocolitis127
Gallbladder Disorder126
Peptic Ulcer110
Hernia64
Congenital Malformations57
Viral Hepatitis26

According to the latest CDC data for 2021, heart disease remains the leading cause of death for 77-year-olds, with 21,724 reported cases. The second most common cause of death is cancer, with 17,797 reported cases. However, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the disease has quickly become the third most common cause of death in this age group, with 10,333 reported cases. Chronic lower respiratory disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease round out the top six causes of death.

Accidents, including overdoses, are responsible for 1,979 reported deaths, while kidney disease and Parkinson’s disease each accounted for around 1,500 reported deaths. Septicemia, a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection, was the cause of 1,120 reported deaths.

Interestingly, nutritional deficiencies and anemias were responsible for about 500 reported deaths combined. Gallbladder disorders and peptic ulcers caused even fewer deaths. Congenital malformations and viral hepatitis were responsible for fewer than 100 deaths combined.

It’s worth noting that this data doesn’t take into account individual circumstances and doesn’t necessarily indicate that one disease or condition is more severe than another. However, it can be helpful in identifying areas where more research and resources may be needed to prevent and treat these potentially life-threatening conditions.

Top Causes of Death for Age 77 Men

Cause of DeathTotal Deaths
Heart Disease12,132
Cancer9,617
COVID-195,908
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease2,377
Diabetes1,597
Accidents (Incl. Overdoses)1,125
Alzheimer’s Disease995
Parkinson’s Disease986
Kidney Disease819
Flu (Non-COVID)613
Septicemia587
Liver Disease (incl. Cirrhosis)418
Pneumonitis Due To Solids & Liquids316
Suicide305
Nutritional Deficiency148
Gallbladder Disorder81
Enterocolitis71
Anemias67
Peptic Ulcer54
Hernia38
Viral Hepatitis26
Congenital Malformations25

Looking at the data for age 77 men, heart disease and cancer continue to be the leading causes of mortality, with 12,132 and 9,617 reported deaths, respectively. COVID-19 is also a significant contributor to mortality in this demographic, with 5,908 reported deaths. Chronic lower respiratory disease, diabetes, and accidents round out the top six leading causes of death.

Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease continue to be major contributors to mortality, with a total of 1,981 reported deaths. Kidney disease and the flu (non-COVID) also caused a significant number of deaths among this demographic, with 819 and 613 reported deaths, respectively. Septicemia and liver disease, including cirrhosis, contributed to almost 1,000 reported deaths combined.

Suicide, nutritional deficiency, gallbladder disorders, and enterocolitis caused fewer than 400 reported deaths collectively. Hernia, viral hepatitis, and congenital malformations were responsible for fewer than 100 reported deaths combined.

Overall, heart disease and cancer remain leading causes of death for age 77 men, while COVID-19 is a rapidly emerging cause of mortality. Other chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, also play a significant role in mortality at this age. Accidents and suicide remain a concerning but less common cause of death compared to chronic diseases.

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Common Causes of Death for 77-Year-Old Women

Cause of DeathTotal Deaths
Heart Disease9,592
Cancer8,180
COVID-194,425
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease2,508
Alzheimer’s Disease1,604
Diabetes1,242
Accidents (Incl. Overdoses)854
Kidney Disease732
Septicemia533
Parkinson’s Disease507
Flu (Non-COVID)471
Liver Disease (incl. Cirrhosis)331
Pneumonitis Due To Solids & Liquids205
Nutritional Deficiency194
Anemias83
Peptic Ulcer56
Enterocolitis56
Suicide55
Gallbladder Disorder45
Congenital Malformations32
Hernia26

Looking at the data for 77-year-old women, we see that heart disease is still the primary cause of mortality, with 9,592 reported deaths. Cancer comes in second, with 8,180 deaths reported, followed closely by COVID-19, with 4,425 deaths reported. Chronic lower respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes round out the top six causes of death.

When we look at the top causes of death for women specifically, we see a similar trend. Heart disease is still the leading cause of mortality, followed by cancer and COVID-19. Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes are also in the top five causes of death for women. Interestingly, accidents, including overdoses, were responsible for 854 deaths among women, making it one of the top ten causes of death.

Overall, we see that heart disease, cancer, COVID-19, chronic lower respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes are consistently the top causes of death for 77-year-olds and 77-year-old women. Nutritional deficiencies and anemia were responsible for fewer deaths in women than in the overall 77-year-old population, while gallbladder disorders and peptic ulcers caused even fewer deaths. Congenital malformations and viral hepatitis were responsible for less than 100 deaths combined among women.