Report of final mortality statistics, 1994
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Report of final mortality statistics, 1994

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      Objectives—This report presents 1994 data on U.S. deaths and death rates accord- ing to such demographic and medical characteristics as age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, marital status, educational attain- ment, State of residence, autopsy status, and cause of death. Trends and patterns in general mortality, life expectancy, and infant and maternal mortality are also described.

      Methods—Descriptive tabulations of data reported on the death certificates of 2,278,994 deaths are presented. Changes between 1993 and 1994 in numbers of deaths and death rates and differences in death rates across demographic groups in 1994 are tested for statistical significance. A decomposition procedure is used to identify causes of death accounting for changes in age-specific death rates and life expectancy.

      Results—The age-adjusted death rate for the total population in 1994 decreased, and life expectancy at birth increased by 0.2 years to 75.7 years. The improvement in life expectancy was primarily due to a decrease in mortality from heart disease, cancer, pneumonia and influenza, and homicide, although offsetting the positive improvements were increases in mortality from Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and diabetes. The list of the 15 leading causes of death was the same as in the previous year, but the rank of some causes changed. Thus, Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis replaced homi- cide as the 10th leading cause of death, and Alzheimer’s disease moved past ath- erosclerosis as the 14th leading cause. Mortality declined for those under 15 years of age and those at ages 55 years and older but increased for those aged 35–44 years; causes of death contributing to this increase were HIV infection and viral hepatitis. Mortality declined for each of the major race and sex groups. Infant mortality rate declined by 4.8 percent to a record low of 8.0 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 1994. Neonatal and postneo- natal mortality rates also declined for white and black infants. The causes con- tributing the most to the improvement in the overall infant mortality were sudden infant death syndrome and respiratory distress syndrome.

      Conclusions—The overall improve- ments in general mortality and life expect- ancy suggest a resumption of the long- term downward trend in U.S. mortality, which was briefly interrupted in 1993 by an increase in mortality associated with the influenza epidemics. The decline in U.S. infant mortality continues the steady downward trend of the past four decades.

      Suggested citation: Singh GK, Kochanek KD, MacDorman MF. Advance report of final mortality statistics, 1994. Monthly vital statistics report; vol 45 no 3, supp. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics. 1996.

      6-0578 (9/96)

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