Mortality Rates from Infectious Diseases are Dropping, But Vary Geographically

April 4, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​There has been a decrease in mortality across the United States from most categories of infectious diseases, with the notable exception of diarrheal diseases, according to a March 27, 2018, investigation in JAMA. Mortality rates vary widely from county to county. The authors looked at deidentified death record from the National Center for Health Statistics and found that in 2014, 34 per 100,000 deaths were due to infectious diseases, compared with 42 per 100,000 deaths in 1980. Infections of the lower respiratory tract represented 79% of total infectious disease deaths in 2014. Diarrheal diseases were the second-leading cause of death from infectious diseases in 2014, representing 7% of these deaths.

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