STATUS > HEALTH INDICATORS
LEADING CAUSES OF DEATH
In 2002, there were over 1.2 million deaths among females.
Of these deaths, more than half were attributed to diseases of the
heart and malignant neoplasms (cancer). Heart disease represented
356,014 deaths (28.6 percent), while 268,503 (21.6 percent) were
from cancer. The next two leading causes of death were cerebrovascular
diseases (stroke), which accounted for 8.0 percent of all female
deaths. This was followed by chronic lower respiratory diseases
which accounted for 5.2 percent.
Crude death rates varied for women by race and ethnic group. For
non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic women, the
leading cause of death was heart disease, with 292.3, 211.6, and
69.7 deaths per 100,000 females, respectively. In contrast, among
American Indian/Alaska Native and Asian/Pacific Islander women,
the leading cause of death was malignant neoplasms, accounting for
71.0 and 72.6 deaths per 100,000 females, respectively.