Top 10 Causes of Death in 2014 vs 1914
It’s so amazing to see how times have changed over the years; how technology has advanced, how fashion trends have come, in many cases, full circle. What’s more interesting is to look past the obvious comparisons of the times and look at how “people” themselves have changed – more precisely, how our health has changed by examining the death statistics for years across a determined number of time. Below we’ve found the top ten causes of death for the year 2014 and for in 1914 and compared them – you’ll be amazed at the findings!
Year 1914 – Senility
Year 2014 – Septicemia
Counting down today from the tenth most common cause of death, to the leading cause of death for both years, we start out with two very different causes. Senility, back in 1914, is likely a combination of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and others affecting the brain. Alzheimer’s was a relatively new discovery, having been named in just 1910. Septicemia, for 2014, is simply blood poisoning. This is frequently caused by bacteria, such as when an appendix bursts and releases the bacteria into the blood. Coincidentally, you’ll see Alzheimer’s disease, not senility, as a top ten cause of death for 2014!
Year 1914 – Premature birth
Year 2014 – Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, nephrosis
When you think of how much medicine, hospital practices, and transportation alone have changed over the years, it is not surprising that premature birth is the ninth leading cause of death for 1914 and not 2014. While premature birth rates have possibly increased in 2014, mostly due to unhealthy mothers who smoke, drink, or are simply not physically capable of bearing a child to term, the available health care has made it possible that premature babies are able to receive extensive treatment until their bodies are able to survive without support.
Now, for the ninth spot on 2014, you’ll find nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis. These all have to deal with kidney problems (nephritis being inflammation of the kidneys, and nephrotic syndrome is kidney disease). These kidney problems are generally due to diabetes, and high blood pressure – something that is a massive problem in the United States due to obesity.
Year 1914 – Accidents excluding motor-vehicle
Year 2014 – Influenza and pneumonia
Accidents and injuries in 1914 were a popular cause of death, especially since treatment options were seriously limited by the capabilities of the hospital. It’s no wonder that these were excluding motor vehicle accidents considering the fact that the Model T had just become popular a few years earlier and could hardly reach speeds around 40 miles an hour!
Now, considering 2014’s eighth leading cause of death, it’s not surprising to see the flu and pneumonia here – honestly one would have thought these two would appear on some of the top five leading causes of death. If you think about the number of elderly who are alive in the United States and how susceptible they are to the flu and pneumonia, you’ll begin to understand why this is such a common cause of death.
1914 – Diarrhea, enteritis, and ulceration of the intestines
2014 – Diabetes
Whether it’s due to ulcers, viruses, poor food hygiene, or some other causes, gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, enteritis, and intestinal ulcers were a massive cause of death in 1914. Diarrhea and enteritis can cause dehydration which is sometimes fatal especially to the young and elderly. Intestinal ulcers, on the other hand, can cause internal bleeding and death.
In a more current time, the year 2014 has an unsurprising seventh popular cause of death – diabetes. With almost thirty million people in the United States diagnosed currently with diabetes, it’s a wonder that this isn’t the leading cause of death!
1914 – Cancer and other malignant tumors
2014 – Alzheimer’s Disease
Cancer has been a leading cause of death for many years, even more so in recent years (as you’ll see it being number two for 2014). Perhaps it would be more of a cause of death in 1914 if screening processes and technological advances were present back then to help detect the cancer.
Next, coming in sixth for 2014 is a disease we mentioned earlier – Alzheimer’s. This mental disease is becoming more common as the life span of people rises and currently, according to statistics, there are over five million Americans who are diagnosed and living with Alzheimer’s disease now. Additionally, around one in three seniors who pass away have Alzheimer’s so we will likely see this disease rising in ranks for causes of death in upcoming years!
1914 – Intracranial lesions of vascular origin
2014 – Accidents
Vascular brain lesions can be caused by three main things: vascular areas that are weak because they were malformed, an abnormal growth in the vessels in the brain, or a stroke caused often by clots. While we don’t have any more information about the cause for number five in 1914, it is curious to see that strokes appear also on our list for the year 2014 as the third leading cause of death.
Now, the fifth cause of death in the United States for 2014 is accidents. These were not self-injuries, but simply accidents. With the staggering number of motor vehicle accidents that are featured on the news daily, it is not surprising that this is the fifth cause of death.
1914 – Nephritis
2014 – Chronic lower respiratory disease
In 1914 diabetes and obesity were not nearly as much of a problem as they are now in 2014; however those are not the only two causes for nephritis. If you think back to 1914, immunizations and disease prevalence was far different and there are a number of infections that can cause nephritis. Some of these include parasites, mumps, measles, mono, syphilis, MRSA, pneumonia, and more.
Now, onto something that obesity and poor health does cause – chronic lower respiratory diseases. These diseases include COPD which is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The main cause of COPD is smoking; however obesity can also cause COPD.
1914 – Pneumonia and influenza
2014 – Stroke
Pneumonia and the flu were massive problems back in the early 1900’s, and it shows with these two being the third cause of death for 1914. Fortunately the increased amount of medical care, as well as flu vaccines being made available to at risk individuals (elderly, health care professionals, children), has caused the flu and pneumonia to go from the third leading cause of death in 1914 to the eighth for 2014.
Unfortunately, strokes, on the other hand, have risen in prevalence. With smoking and obesity being massive contributors to strokes, we will likely continue to see this deadly and devastating cause of death be in the top three for many years to come.
1914 – Tuberculosis
2014 – Cancer and other malignant tumors
Tuberculosis, or TB, is a very contagious and serious bacterial infection that the US government has been fighting against for many years. While it was the second leading cause of death in 1914, it no longer even appears on the top ten list for 2014 thanks to increased sanitary and isolation procedures in hospitals as well as TB vaccinations.
For 2014, on the other hand, we see cancer and tumors as being the second leading cause of death in the United States. Unfortunately many people’s lifestyles dramatically increase their risks for cancer, especially when tanning, smoking, and drugs are what’s considered “popular”.
1914 – Heart disease
2014 – Heart disease
Last on our list, and the absolute number one cause for death in 2014 and 1914 is heart disease. It is somewhat surprising to see that despite a hundred years difference, heart disease is still the number one cause of death.
While heart disease is actually a range of different problems related to the heart or blood vessels, it is often used to describe atherosclerosis. This is essentially when fat builds up on your arteries preventing blood from flowing properly. It is caused by smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, and a poor diet. Unfortunately with diabetes being so prevalent, and the fact that two out of three adults in the United States is considered to be either overweight or obese, heart disease will continue to be the leading cause of death for many years to come!