What Kills Americans? Top 4 Causes of Death in the US

Even though death is not a fun topic to talk about, it is an inevitable part of life and in some cases, talking about it can help a lot.

For instance, as many as ¾ of all deaths in the US come from just 10 sources. What’s more, a shocking 50% of all deaths in the US can also be linked to just top 3 causes which we will cover in this article.

Health and medication experts at Odonate Pharmaceuticals believe that knowing about these death causes, we can take better care of ourselves and prevent some of these illnesses.

Cardiovascular Diseases

Depending on the research, you will find heart diseases and other cardiovascular diseases either as a single factor or as two separate illnesses.

What is striking is that both together and apart, these conditions make it on the lists of deadliest illnesses in the US and the rest of the developed world. Heart disease accounts for some 23% of all deaths, whereas all cardiovascular illnesses raise this level to almost 29%.

In most cases, cardiovascular illnesses are caused, or exacerbated by the unhealthy lifestyle, such as obesity, unhealthy diet and smoking. And the best prevention method is a healthy diet, exercising moderately and avoiding smoking and heavy drinking.


Another illness which, although present for a long time, has soared in numbers with the advent of modern lifestyle and our industrialized societies.

There are many different types of cancer, and they should all be taken extremely seriously, as they kill about 22% of all people who die in the US each year.

The most common types of cancer are lung cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer. Even though anyone can be diagnosed with cancer, there are some risky behaviors, such as smoking, obesity, and exposure to harmful UV rays or unsafe chemicals which can dramatically increase the odds.

Most experts agree that there are many causes of cancer which are preventable and that we should take care to minimize our risks as much as possible. A healthy diet, not smoking, and avoiding the sun without sunscreen are a good way to start. Ask your doctor for more information.

Lung Diseases

Not only is lung cancer one of the most prolific killers, but also other lung diseases as well. Illnesses such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma may not seem so dangerous or deadly, but they do take almost 6% of all deaths in the US.

Like with most other diseases listed here, some of the most common causes are also the most easily preventable ones. It is estimated that as many as 80% of lung diseases come from smoking (including second-hand smoking). Another important factor is air pollution, which is usually not easy for us to control, but it is always good to be aware of.


Around 5% of all deaths come as a result of various accidents. In fact, it is the leading cause of deaths for younger people, which should come as a warning to be more careful.

Most experts recommend being more careful and focused in traffic and always wearing a seatbelt while driving as a way to prevent traffic accidents and the resulting deaths.

Work-related accidents are also an important part of this statistic, but stricter laws and better safety equipment have reduced this cause of death significantly over the years.

What most of these leading causes of death have in common is that a large percentage of them are preventable by simply leading a better life and being more careful.