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 Western New York. I took a look at the 8 counties considered to be WNY. I was initially thinking maybe drug overdoses or gun violence would make the list. But as you can see below, chronic diseases are really the leading causes of death. It's interesting that even though these counties are in the same region, the top 5 causes differ in many of the counties. The data is for all ages, races, and genders. I've also included the number of deaths for each county due to COVID-19. It's the most recent data available from the NY Department of Health.

Here are the top 5 causes of death in WNY:

Allegany
5. Cerebrovascular Disease - 18 (30.3 per 100,000)
4. Diabetes - 21 (31.8 per 100,000)
3. CLRD - 47 (68.4 per 100,000)
2. Cancer - 99 (153.4 per 100,000)
1. Heart Disease - 120 (189.8 per 100,000)

COVID-19 Deaths - 107

Cattaraugus
5. Cerebrovascular Disease - 35 (31.9 per 100,000)
4. Pneumonia and Influenza - 37 (34.5 per 100,000)
3. CLRD - 56 (48.9 per 100,000)
2. Cancer - 187 (165.0 per 100,000)
1. Heart Disease - 256 (229.8 per 100,000)

COVID-19 Deaths - 138

Chautauqua
5. Cerebrovascular Disease - 70 (33.4 per 100,000)
4. Unintentional Injury - 70 (48.5 per 100,000)
3. CLRD - 91 (45.8 per 100,000)
2. Cancer - 306 (159.7 per 100,000)
1. Heart Disease - 415 (204.8 per 100,000)

COVID-19 Deaths - 184

Erie
5. Unintentional Injury - 424 (40.7 per 100,000)
4. Cerebrovascular Disease - 477 (35.4 per 100,000)
3. CLRD - 482 (36.5 per 100,000)
2. Cancer - 2,054 (160.6 per 100,000)
1. Heart Disease - 2,387 (180.0 per 100,000)

COVID-19 Deaths - 1,992

Genesee
5. Diabetes - 27 (35.1 per 100,000)
4. CLRD - 39 (43.2 per 100,000)
3. Unintentional Injury - 40 (65.2 per 100,000)
2. Cancer - 130 (152.0 per 100,000)
1. Heart Disease - 161 (187.9 per 100,000)

COVID-19 Deaths - 138

Niagara
5. Cerebrovascular Disease - 93 (30.4 per 100,000)
4. Unintentional Injury - 99 (44.5 per 100,000)
3. CLRD - 132 (43.0 per 100,000)
2. Cancer - 503 (163.8 per 100,000)
1. Heart Disease - 674 (212.1 per 100,000)

COVID-19 Deaths - 406

Orleans
5. Kidney Disease and Diseases of the Urinary Tract - 12 (22.1 per 100,000)
4. Unintentional Injury - 12 (29.7 per 100,000)
3. CLRD - 27 (48.1 per 100,000)
2. Cancer - 91 (161.4 per 100,000)
1. Heart Disease - 99 (180.7 per 100,000)

COVID-19 Deaths - 93

Wyoming
5. Diabetes - 17 (34.2 per 100,000)
4. CLRD - 17 (34.5 per 100,000)
3. Unintentional Injury - 19 (40.5 per 100,000)
2. Heart Disease - 87 (165.5 per 100,000)
1. Cancer - 89 (160.5 per 100,000)

COVID-19 Deaths - 62

Although the data is from 2018, it is the most recent available from the New York Department of Health. One thing is clear, although the #5 through # 3 causes of death vary by county, cancer, and heart disease remain consistent as the #2 and #1 causes. While there's no way to see where deaths from COVID-19 would rank officially, you can see that they will probably make the top 5 when the numbers for 2020 and 2021 are finally released.

Cause of death data provided by the New York Department of Health.
COVID-19 death data provided by the New York Department of Health as of November 9, 2021 (Deaths by county of residence, versus county of death)

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