Health Status > Health Indicators
Leading Causes of Death
In 2003, there were over 1.2 million deaths among
females. Of these deaths, nearly half were attributed to diseases
of the heart and malignant neoplasms (cancer), with 348,994 and
268,912 deaths, respectively. The next two leading causes of death
were cerebrovascular diseases (stroke), which accounted for 7.7
percent of all female deaths, followed by chronic lower respiratory
diseases which accounted for 5.3 percent.
While age-adjusted death rates varied for women
by race and ethnic group, the leading causes were the same for each
population: heart disease and cancer. Age-adjusted death rates for
four of the top five causes were highest among non-Hispanic Black
women, followed by non-Hispanic White women and Hispanic women.
The exception was chronic lower respiratory diseases, which caused
the highest rate of deaths among non-Hispanic White women, followed
by American Indian/Alaska Native women and non-Hispanic Black women.