This chart by the New England Journal of Medicine compares the top causes of death in the United States in 1900 and 2010. The shift is fascinating—in little more than a century, humanity has eradicated so many diseases. Others, however, have increased, like cancer and heart disease.

I wonder if these increases are due to environmental factors, the aging of the population, or erroneous diagnosis in 1900.

Two additional interesting tables:

Top 10 Causes of Death, Years of Life Lost from Premature Death, Years Lived with Disability, and Disability-Adjusted Life-Years (DALYs) in the United States, 2010.


Global DALYs (Disability-Adjusted Life Year) Attributable to the 25 Leading Risk Factors in 1990 and 2010.

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