Two of the top five killers of people in the U.S. are accountable for the lion’s share of deaths. Leading the way is cardiovascular disease, which accounts for a whopping 29%.
“When you look at the statistics, the numbers are anywhere between 500,000 and 800,00 people that die in this country annually from cardiovascular disease so its significant,” says Dr. Lacagnina Vice President of Health and Wellness for Lee Memorial Health System.
Next up: cancer. Among the leaders are lung, breast, prostate and colon. All cancers combined make up 23% of deaths. The good news is early screening can lower the death rate.
“Make sure that the women get their mammograms, men really need their prostate cancer screening, everyone over 50 needs a colonoscopy to check for colon cancer,” says Dr. Lacagnina.
Strokes come in at number 3, accounting for 6% of U.S. deaths. Number 4 is chronic lung disease. The fifth leading cause of death is accidents at 4.5%.
“Accidents are in the top 5 and probably because with the younger people they’re a little bit more risky in their behavior,” says Dr. Lacagnina.
Deaths due to falls also fall here and are particularly deadly for the elderly.
“Those people have much more complications serious complications or prolonged hospitalizations and even death as a result of a hip fracture so falls are really a significant problem,” says Dr. Lacagnina.
If there is a silver lining, its that many of these top causes of death are preventable to some extent. There’s no magic pill, it’s a matter of proper diet and exercise.
“The foundations for healthy living and to avoid the major things that kill people, even to a degree the cancers, have to do with good daily nutrition, healthy nutrition and daily exercise,” says Dr. Lacagnina.
People are more than willing to attribute their poor health to age but research shows today’s ailments usually stem from yesterday’s habits.
View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/
Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we've been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.
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