The overall death rate among Americans after adjusting for age rose slightly in 2015 — the first increase in a decade — with heart disease deaths basically flat and stroke deaths on the rise, preliminary federal data show.
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The numbers out this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that after two decades in decline, the death rate from heart disease — the nation’s top killer — did not go down.
The overall death rate — the number of deaths per 100,000 Americans — increased from 723.2 in 2014 to 729.5 in 2015, according to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. Death rates provided in the report were adjusted based on the nation’s age distribution.
“We’re curious to see what’s driving that,” said Farida Ahmad, the lead investigator on the report. The final data will be released in December.
For heart disease, the death rate remained mostly unchanged, with 166.7 deaths per 100,000 people in 2014 compared to 167.1 deaths in 2015. The stroke death rate rose from 36.4 in 2014 to 37.4 in 2015.