Heart disease, including coronary heart disease, heart attack, congestive heart failure, and congenital heart disease, is the leading cause of death in the US, causing over 611,000 deaths in 2013 alone. Prevention includes quitting smoking, lowering cholesterol, controlling high blood pressure, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising.
On average, every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke. Strokes are responsible for 6.7% of U.S. deaths each year, and are the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States. 25% of strokes occur in people under the age of 65, and the most important risk factor for stroke-high blood pressure.
Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases
Chronic lower respiratory diseases affect the lungs. they are responsible for 5.1% of U.S. deaths. The most deadly of these is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which makes it difficult to breathe. COPD includes conditions like emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking is the main cause of COPD. Smokers are 12 times as likely to die of COPD as those who have never smoked. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis also are strongly associated with lung cancer.
Influenza and Pneumonia
Alzheimer's Disease, responsible for 2.4% of U.S. deaths each year, causes steady loss of memory and of the ability to speak, think, and carry on daily activities. While the Alzheimer's itself isn't fatal, death is usually caused by secondary infections in these incapacitated patients who can't participate in their own treatment and care. As the disease progresses, patients lose the ability to manage basic functions like swallowing, walking, or controlling bladder and bowel.
End-stage kidney disease occurs when the kidneys cannot function at a level needed for day-to-day life. It is responsible for 1.7% of American deaths each year. Patients who have reached this stage need either dialysis or a kidney transplant. The most common causes of end stage renal disease in the U.S. are diabetes and high blood pressure.
Septicemia, or blood poisoning, is a life-threatening infection responsible for 1.7% of U.S. deaths each year. It can develop from infections anywhere in the body, like the lungs, abdomen, and urinary tract. It can accompany infections of the bone, central nervous system, heart, or other tissues. It often begins with elevated fevers, chills, rapid breathing and heart rate.
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