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Health Indicator Report of Leading Causes of Death

Analysis of mortality by cause is essential for the development of prevention strategies.

Data Source

Death Certificate Database, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry, New Jersey Department of Health

Definition

Deaths due to underlying causes of death eligible to be ranked as leading causes of death based on National Center for Health Statistics standards

Numerator

Number of deaths due to a particular underlying cause

Denominator

Percent: Total number of deaths due to all causes; Rate: Number of persons in the population

How Are We Doing?

Heart disease remained the leading cause of death in the US, New Jersey, and 16 of its 21 counties in 2020. COVID-19 was the second leading cause of death in NJ, third in the nation, and was the leading cause of death in five northeastern NJ counties. Cancer rounded out the top three causes of death. These three causes together accounted for 49% of deaths in the US, 54% of deaths in NJ, and 48%-58% of deaths in each NJ county in 2020. Unintentional injury, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases (CLRD), Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, septicemia, and kidney disease rounded out the remainder of the ten leading causes of death for New Jersey. For each year of 2009-2014, the leading causes of death had been, in order, heart disease, cancer, stroke, CLRD, unintentional injury, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, septicemia, kidney disease, and influenza/pneumonia. In 2015, fueled by the opioid overdose epidemic, unintentional injury replaced CLRD as the fourth leading cause of death. Alzheimer's disease and septicemia overtook diabetes in positions 6 through 8. In 2016, unintentional injury replaced stroke as the third leading cause of death and diabetes switched places with septicemia to become the seventh leading cause of death. In 2018, diabetes switched places with septicemia again. The ten leading causes of death in New Jersey remained the same in 2019 as in 2018. [https://www-doh.state.nj.us/doh-shad/view/sharedstatic/LCODtable.pdf Table of leading causes of death for each year, 2000-2020]

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Influenza and pneumonia was the ninth leading cause of death in the US in 2020, but was 11th in New Jersey. New Jersey's 8th leading cause of death, septicemia, was 15th in the US in 2020. The other leading causes of death are in the Top 10 in both New Jersey and the US. The age-adjusted death rates in 2020 for New Jersey's ten leading causes of death were lower than those of the US for each cause except COVID-19, septicemia, and kidney disease.
Page Content Updated On 10/17/2022, Published on 10/27/2022
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site (https://nj.gov/health/shad). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Wed, 30 November 2022 9:11:42 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: https://nj.gov/health/shad ".

Content updated: no date