Annual Number of Deaths By Selected Causes in the US, Including Deaths Attributed to Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use


Cause of death (Data from 2017 unless otherwise noted) Number
All Causes 2,813,503
Major Cardiovascular Diseases [MCD] 854,390
   Diseases of Heart [subset of MCD]    647,457
   Cerebrovascular Diseases [subset of MCD]    146,383
   Essential Hypertension and Hypertensive Renal Disease [subset of MCD]    35,316
Malignant Neoplasms [Cancer] 599,108
Deaths Attributed to Tobacco Smoking (Each year from 2005 through 2009)1 480,320
Medical Errors (2013 estimate) 251,454
Accidents (Unintentional Injuries) [Total] 169,936
   Motor Vehicle Accidents [subset of Total Accidents]    40,231
Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases 160,201
Alzheimer's Disease 121,404
Diabetes Mellitus 83,564
Drug-Induced Deaths2 73,990
Influenza and Pneumonia 55,672
Nephritis, Nephrotic Syndrome and Nephrosis 50,633
Intentional Self-Harm (Suicide) 47,173
Chronic Liver Disease and Cirrhosis 41,743
   Alcoholic Liver Disease [subset of Chronic Liver Disease and Cirrhosis]    22,246
Septicemia 40,922
Injury by Firearms 39,773
Alcohol-Induced Deaths 35,823
Parkinson Disease 31,963
Pneumonitis Due to Solids and Liquids 20,108
Assault (Homicide) 19,510
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Disease 5,698
Viral Hepatitis 5,611
All Illicit Drugs Combined (2000)3 17,0002
Cannabis (Marijuana)4 0

2016 Data Detailing Drug-Induced Deaths,
Breaking Out Specific Data for Natural and Semi-Synthetic Opioids (including Oxycodone), Synthetic Opioids (including Fentanyl), and Heroin,
as Reported by the CDC7
Total Deaths Attributed to Drug Overdose 63,632
Overdose Deaths Involving Any Opioid 42,249
Overdose Deaths Involving Heroin 15,469
Overdose Deaths Involving Natural and Semi-Synthetic Opioids 14,487
Overdose Deaths Involving Methadone 3,373
Overdose Deaths Involving Synthetic Opioids Other Than Methadone 19,413

2014 Data Detailing Drug-Induced Deaths,
Breaking Out Specific Data for Prescription Analgesics and Heroin,
as Reported by the CDC5
Drug Overdose Total 47,055
Deaths Involving Pharmaceutical Opioid Analgesics 18,893
Deaths Involving Heroin 10,574

2010 Drug Overdose Mortality Data In Detail,
Reported By Paulozzi et al.6
Drug Overdose Total 38,329
Deaths Involving Pharmaceutical Drugs 22,134
Deaths Involving Pharmaceutical Opioids 16,651

1 Estimated number of deaths annually 2005-2009. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: 50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014.
2 Re drug-induced deaths: "This category includes deaths from poisoning and medical conditions caused by use of legal or illegal drugs, as well as deaths from poisoning due to medically prescribed and other drugs. It excludes deaths indirectly related to drug use, as well as newborn deaths due to the mother's drug use."

3 Mokdad, Ali H., PhD, James S. Marks, MD, MPH, Donna F. Stroup, PhD, MSc, Julie L. Gerberding, MD, MPH, "Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000," Journal of the American Medical Association, (March 10, 2004), G225 Vol. 291, No. 10, 1242.

4 No recorded cases of overdose deaths from cannabis have been found in extensive literature reviews, see for example Gable, Robert S., "The Toxicity of Recreational Drugs," American Scientist (Research Triangle Park, NC: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, May-June 2006) Vol. 94, No. 3, p. 207.

5 CDC/NCHS, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality File, 2015, last accessed Dec. 11, 2015.

6 Paulozzi et al analyzed mortality figures and found that of 38,329 drug overdose deaths then reported in 2010, pharmaceutical drugs accounted for 22,134 deaths, of which 16,651 were opiod analgesic overdoses. The data were apparently revised slightly between the time the research letter was published in JAMA (February 2013) and release of the CDC's Deaths: Final Data for 2010 publication report, officially dated May 8, 2013.
7 Hedegaard H, Warner M, Miniño AM. Drug overdose deaths in the United States, 1999–2016. NCHS Data Brief, no 294. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2017.

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