Leading Causes of Death for 79-Year-Olds

As we age, our bodies become more susceptible to various illnesses and health conditions. In the United States, the average life expectancy is around 79 years old, but with it comes a higher risk of chronic diseases and disabilities. With that in mind, it’s essential to know the leading causes of death for 79-year-olds to take the necessary precautions and maintain a healthy lifestyle. This article will delve into the top causes of death among the elderly and how to prevent them to live longer, healthier lives. (Note: See here for 78-year-old causes of death or here for the most common causes of death for 80-year-olds.)

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Leading Causes of Death for 79-Year-Olds (2021 CDC Data)

Cause of DeathTotal Deaths
Heart Disease23,289
Cancer17,443
COVID-1910,267
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease4,893
Alzheimer’s Disease3,296
Diabetes2,775
Accidents (Incl. Overdoses)2,099
Parkinson’s Disease1,806
Kidney Disease1,540
Septicemia1,178
Flu (Non-COVID)1,130
Liver Disease (incl. Cirrhosis)607
Pneumonitis Due To Solids & Liquids564
Nutritional Deficiency406
Suicide324
Anemias147
Gallbladder Disorder142
Enterocolitis134
Peptic Ulcer114
Hernia79
Kidney Infection28

According to CDC data from 2021, the leading causes of death for 79-year-olds are heart disease, cancer, and COVID-19. Heart disease tops the list with over 23,000 deaths, followed by cancer with over 17,000 deaths, and COVID-19 with over 10,000 deaths. Chronic lower respiratory disease and Alzheimer’s disease also contribute to a significant number of deaths, with 4,893 and 3,296 deaths, respectively.

In terms of preventability, some of these causes of death are more avoidable than others. For example, lifestyle changes such as exercise and a healthy diet can help prevent heart disease and some types of cancer. On the other hand, COVID-19 is a pandemic that has swept across the world, and its effects are much harder to control through personal choices alone.

It is also interesting to note that accidents, including overdoses, contribute to a significant number of deaths at this age, with over 2,000 deaths. This highlights the importance of safety measures and avoiding risky behaviors.

Overall, this data provides useful insights into the leading causes of death for older adults in the United States. While some of these causes are difficult to prevent, taking steps to improve one’s health and safety can help mitigate their risk of mortality.

Top Causes of Death for Age 79 Men

Cause of DeathTotal Deaths
Heart Disease12,741
Cancer9,432
COVID-195,904
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease2,346
Diabetes1,557
Alzheimer’s Disease1,245
Accidents (Incl. Overdoses)1,218
Parkinson’s Disease1,159
Kidney Disease811
Flu (Non-COVID)602
Septicemia569
Liver Disease (incl. Cirrhosis)345
Pneumonitis Due To Solids & Liquids342
Suicide272
Nutritional Deficiency187
Gallbladder Disorder82
Anemias58
Peptic Ulcer58
Enterocolitis51
Hernia40

Looking at the data for men only, we see that the leading causes of mortality for 79-year-old men are heart disease, cancer, and COVID-19. Heart disease claims the most lives, with 12,741 deaths, while cancer causes the next highest number of deaths, with 9,432 lives lost. COVID-19 is the third-leading cause of death, with 5,904 deaths.

Chronic lower respiratory disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, accidents (including overdoses), Parkinson’s disease, kidney disease, and flu (non-COVID) round out the top ten leading causes of mortality for 79-year-old men, each contributing to at least several hundred deaths. Septicemia (blood infection) and liver disease, including cirrhosis, also lead to a significant number of deaths.

It’s important to note that suicide and nutritional deficiency are also among the causes of death for 79-year-old men, with 272 and 187 deaths, respectively. Peptic ulcer and anemias also contribute to a small number of fatalities.

Overall, this data gives us a clearer picture of the leading causes of death for elderly men. Heart disease and cancer remain the most substantial contributors to mortality, while COVID-19 presents an ongoing threat. Other factors such as chronic lower respiratory disease, accidents, and diabetes also play a significant role in causing deaths among 79-year-old men.

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Common Causes of Death for 79-Year-Old Women

Cause of DeathTotal Deaths
Heart Disease10,548
Cancer8,011
COVID-194,363
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease2,547
Alzheimer’s Disease2,051
Diabetes1,218
Accidents (Incl. Overdoses)881
Kidney Disease729
Parkinson’s Disease647
Septicemia609
Flu (Non-COVID)528
Liver Disease (incl. Cirrhosis)262
Pneumonitis Due To Solids & Liquids222
Nutritional Deficiency219
Anemias89
Enterocolitis83
Gallbladder Disorder60
Peptic Ulcer56
Suicide52
Hernia39
Kidney Infection28

Analyzing the CDC data for 79-year-old women shows that the most common causes of death include heart disease, cancer, and COVID-19. Heart disease tops the list with 10,548 deaths, followed by cancer with 8,011 deaths and COVID-19 with 4,363 deaths. The data also indicates that chronic lower respiratory disease and Alzheimer’s disease lead to significant mortality rates among women in this age group.

Other causes of death that significantly contribute to mortality rates among 79-year-old women include kidney disease, Parkinson’s disease, septicemia, accidents and overdoses, and diabetes. Nutritional deficiencies and pneumonitis due to solids and liquids also contribute to a certain extent.

Interestingly, the number of deaths due to suicide is relatively low in this age group, with only 52 deaths. This suggests that mental health issues and suicide prevention may not be a top concern for 79-year-old women.

Overall, this analysis of mortality data among women aged 79 emphasizes the importance of addressing the common causes of death, such as heart disease and cancer, to improve overall public health outcomes.