The Top 5 Leading Causes of Death in the State of Illinois

heart care

Hardly anyone is ever prepared for death, even if it’s not unexpected. Unfortunately, most of the leading causes of death in Illinois and all over the United States are unexpected. On the other hand, most are also preventable. Here’s a look at the top five leading causes of death in Illinois.

#1: Heart Disease

Heart disease is the umbrella term for several diseases that affect the heart, and coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common. Not only is it the leading cause of death in Illinois, but in the United States as a whole. Common symptoms of heart disease include:

● Chest pain/discomfort

● Dizziness/lightheadedness

● Exhaustion

● Heart palpitations

● Shortness of breath

The biggest risk factor for heart disease is lifestyle habits. Being inactive and eating poorly leads to a variety of problems (e.g., obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, etc). Other risk factors include having a family history of heart disease and smoking tobacco— which is also related to an unhealthy lifestyle.

#2: Cancer

Cancer is characterized by uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in a part of the body. Although the number of cancer cases across the U.S. has been declining, it’s still the second leading cause of death in the U.S. and Illinois. There are five main types of cancers, categorized by where they start:

● Carcinomas start in the skin or internal organs

● Central nervous system (CNS) cancers start in the brain and spinal cord

● Leukemia starts in the blood and bone marrow

● Lymphomas start in the immune system

● Sarcomas start in the fat, bone, cartilage, and connective tissues

Lung and skin cancers are the most common type found in both men and women, whereas breast cancer is the most common in women and prostate the most common in men. Some of the known risk factors include environmental habits (e.g., smoking, increased sun exposure) and a family history of a certain type of cancer.

#3: COVID-19

In the middle of 2020, COVID-19 became a leading cause of death in the U.S., and Illinois was no exception— although it lies on the lower end of COVID-19 deaths compared to other states. The COVID-19 disease (or coronavirus) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 strand. Because the virus is related to the common cold, it shares many of the same symptoms:

● Cough

● Fever

● Headache

● Muscle and body aches

● Runny nose

Difficulty breathing and loss of taste and/or smell are also symptoms that are related to COVID-19. Some cases are mild and affected individuals can rest at home and take OTC (over-the-counter) cold medications. However, some cases are more severe and require hospitalization. Unfortunately, more than one million people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19.

#4: Accidents

Accidental deaths are the fourth leading cause of death in Illinois, and Illinois is among the states with the highest rates of accident mortality. Some examples of accidental death incidents include drowning, poisoning, and suffocation. However, when an accidental death occurs because of another individual’s negligence, this is referred to as wrongful death. Examples of wrongful death include:

● Abuse and violence

● Car, pedestrian, and bike accidents

● Dog bites and other animal attacks

● Medical malpractice

● Slips and falls

Fortunately, the families of victims of wrongful death can receive financial compensation by contacting a wrongful death attorney. Because the death was a result of another’s negligence, the other party can be held responsible.

#5: Stroke

Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in Illinois and the U.S. This happens when the blood supply to the brain is reduced, resulting in less oxygen and nutrients going to the brain. The most common symptoms of a stroke include:

● Blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes

● Headache (sudden and severe)

● Numbness in the face, arm(s), or leg(s)

● Slurred speech and difficulty understanding speech

● Trouble walking

The risk factors for having a stroke are very similar to the risk factors for having a heart attack. Other risk factors for stroke include heavy drinking, use of illegal drugs, obstructive sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, family/personal history of stroke, and having (or having had) COVID-19.

Other leading causes of death in Illinois (and the U.S.) include chronic lower respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and chronic liver disease. Most of these leading causes of death can be reduced by making certain lifestyle changes (e.g., eating healthy, exercising, and abstaining from smoking and heavy drinking). 

Similar Articles

Winter disease

Discover 5 effective at-home remedies to combat winter diseases. From flu to colds, learn how to stay healthy and resilient during the chilly season.

Common Cancer Myths Debunked

Clickbait articles. Wild conspiracies. Misheard conversations. All of these things can lead to misinformation. Misinformation can become incredibly dangerous. Not only does it cause fear, but it can influence decision-making. People have allowed lies to influence their healthcare and voting habits. Not only this, but it can create prejudices that can ruin lives.

Movement Disorders - 8 Things You Have to Know

Conditions like Parkinson's, essential tremor, and dystonia are on the rise, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. From subtle tremors to major coordination issues, these disorders can greatly affect daily life. Understanding their causes, symptoms, and treatments helps us detect and manage them early, improving overall quality of life.

Effective and Safe Ways to Clean Your Ears

When it comes to personal hygiene, ears aren’t usually something people tend to worry about. You may give them a quick rinse while in the shower, and then not think twice about it, that is until they start bothering you. Ears are generally thought of as self-cleaning, as earwax tends to soften on its own and not build up.

7 Ways to Stay Positive During Your Cancer Treatment

Cancer is diagnosed every two minutes in the UK, a word that instills dread and evokes fear and worry. Treating cancer can often be a rollercoaster.

17 Ways to Overcome Chronic Pain from Crohn's Disease

It's a good idea to discuss Crohn's disease with your doctor if you experience pain. Crohn's disease frequently causes pain, but there are ways to manage it.

What are The Major Distribution Challenges Of The COVID-19 Vaccine

The COVID19 vaccine supply chain has a decisive role to play in enabling efficient vaccination to people. But, the current supply chains are broken and diminished in many cases, posing challenges to effective vaccine distribution.

How to Prevent Lung Diseases

Lungs are usually taken for granted by us however they keep us well and alive. Most of us prioritize getting healthier and the health of lungs rarely crosses our minds. Now it’s the need of the time that we change it! The rate of lung diseases and respiratory ailments is much more in number than we assume. 

Preventive Measures against Hepatitis

Hepatitis is an inflammatory condition of the liver that can cause severe health problems if left untreated. There are different types of hepatitis, and each has its specific causes, symptoms, and treatment options.