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Death Rates Due to Old Age and Their Causes

Cessation of life. Heart disease is the most common cause of deaths among individuals older than age 65, followed by departures from CANCER and then STROKE (CEREBROVASCULAR DISORDER).

The other main causes of death among elderly people are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia or flu (INFLUENZA), DIABETES, injuries, ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE, KIDNEY DISEASES, SEPTICEMIA, ATHEROSCLEROSIS, and HYPERTENSION. Most departures caused by COPD, a state which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, are due to SMOKING. Smoking causes or leads to many other departures.

Racial Differences

Some top causes of death change among some racial groups. By way of example, departures from Alzheimer’s disease are more frequent among Caucasians (particularly white females) than among other races. Among AFRICAN AMERICANS, departures from diabetes, kidney disease, septicemia, and hypertension are more regular than among other races. Among all age groups, the death rate from cancer is higher among blacks, especially male African Americans.

Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a 2001 report, heart disease is the number one cause of death for elderly individuals of all races, and cancer is the second cause of death.

Diabetes is a cause of death for both HISPANIC AMERICANS and whites, but it’s the fourth leading cause among Hispanics, in comparison with the sixth leading cause of death among blacks and whites.

Gender Differences

Both girls and men die of heart disease, but girls have a somewhat higher speed (47.6 percent of all departures, in 1998) than men (44.6 percent). Guys, nevertheless, have a higher rate of cancer, at 33 percent of all deaths among men, versus 26.2 percent of all deaths for females. Girls are more likely to die from stroke (12.6 percent of deaths) than men (8.3 percent).

Other Causes of Death

Although not a top cause of death, elderly folks who fall are in danger of death, and FALLS represented about 2 percent of all deaths among individuals in the United States ages 65 and older in 1997.

Health Progress

Some death rates have dropped, like death rates from heart disease and stroke in America, together with departures from atherosclerosis, also called “hardening of the arteries.” Once a leading cause of death, atherosclerosis isn’t any longer in the top 10 causes of death in America.

#”death tax”

Refers to the estate tax charged by federal and state governments in America upon the death of a person whose estate surpassed a limit that was decreed by the state or federal government.

Some people consider that estate taxes are unjust since they’re high and because they decrease the amount the individual can leave to family. Others consider the tax burden falls mainly on wealthy people, whose families can manage this type of tax, and in addition they claim that these tax revenues are needed by society. It’s clear that

The great majority of cash from death tax comes from the richest 2 percent of people.

Whether there’s too little equity in this issue is and will continue to be a hotly discussed issue among those with the most to lose: owners of small and large family businesses, small-farm owners, entrepreneurs, and big business owners. This is a political problem which will continue to be debated as the population ages.

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