Since March 2020, the number of deaths from COVID-19 has been at the forefront due to the ongoing pandemic, and rightfully so. But I was curious about what the other leading causes of death are in New York State. I must say, I am a bit surprised by the list. I was initially thinking maybe drug overdoses or gun violence would make the list. The data is for all ages, races, and genders. The #2 and the leading causes of death have both remained in those positions since 2009. Here are the top 5 causes of death in NY:

5. Cerebrovascular Disease
6,183 deaths (24.1 per 100,000)

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons defines cerebrovascular disease as,

The term cerebrovascular disease includes all disorders in which an area of the brain is temporarily or permanently affected by ischemia or bleeding and one or more of the cerebral blood vessels are involved in the pathological process. Cerebrovascular disease includes stroke, carotid stenosis, vertebral stenosis and intracranial stenosis, aneurysms, and vascular malformations.

4.CLRD
7,226 deaths (28.4 per 100,000)

CLRD stands for chronic lower respiratory disease, which Very Well Health defines as,

a group of conditions that affect the lungs and are considered the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States.1 CLRD encompasses chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis; as well as asthma, pulmonary hypertension, and occupational lung diseases.

3. Unintentional Injury
7,323 deaths (33.8 per 100,000)

2. Cancer
34,206 deaths (137.1 per 100,000)

1. Heart Disease
44,183 deaths (170.7 per 100,000)

According to the New York Department of Health,

Heart Disease is a term that refers to several types of heart conditions which include CHD, valves in the heart, and congestive heart failure. The most common type of heart disease is CHD. CHD occurs when a substance called plaque builds up that narrows the arteries in the heart. A heart attack occurs when an artery becomes completely blocked, resulting in a lack of blood flow to the heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States and in New York State.

The total number of deaths from the top 5 causes was 157,177 (626.9 per 100,000).

It's apparent that we need to focus on fighting heart disease in New York,

CVD accounted for 35% of all deaths statewide in 2018 (BRFSS 2018). An estimated 7.8% of adults in New York State reported they have had a heart attack, angina/coronary heart disease, or stroke in 2018. One out of five ( 20%) New Yorkers aged 65 and older reported having some type of CVD in 2018.

The numbers listed above are from 2018 (the most recent data available from the NY Dept. of Health), so there's no way to see where deaths from COVID-19 would rank. However, the total number of deaths reported by healthcare facilities in New York, as of October 31, 2021, was 45,600. It is very likely that COVID-19 will be in the top 5 causes of death in New York, once the updated data is released.

Cause of death data provided by the New York Department of Health

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