Most surprising cause of death in every state

10 Leading Causes of Death

In the United States, a small list of diseases takes the lives of a large majority of people. Every year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tally up all deaths and related conditions to find the leading causes of death in the country. Heart disease, cancer and respiratory diseases are a few that regularly top the list.

But what about at the state level? Not all health conditions kill the same percentage of people across all states, which means some diseases kill more than others — and more than their national average — in each state. By lumping all the data into national averages, we can miss important patterns, which is potentially dangerous. Only by zooming in and analyzing these state-by-state differences can we find deadly, regional trends.

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Take, for example, death by accidental poisoning. On a national level, this caused 14.4 deaths per 100,000 in 2014. In Ohio, however, it killed 23.7 per 100,000. So, in Ohio, death by accidental poisoning is over-indexed. This means it is significantly more common in this state than in the nation as a whole. For our purposes, this makes death by accidental poisoning surprisingly common in Ohio.

So what diseases kill the most, and where?

Using 2014 data from the CDC, HealthGrove looked at all 113 causes of death and found the causes that were most over-indexed in all 50 states — that is, where they have the highest death rates compared to the national average. Only conditions that caused 100 deaths or more on average per state were considered.

For each of these surprisingly common causes of death, the states in which it is the most over-indexed are listed. Each state is only listed once.

Upon examining this data, certain trends emerge. As of 2014, assault is the most over-indexed cause of death in the South. On the West Coast, hepatitis prevails and in mountain region states, self-harm is the most over-indexed.

This liver infection is caused by the hepatitis A virus and can be prevented by vaccine.

Over-Indexed In: California, Oregon

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