Health Statistics Center study, “Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2004,”
reveals higher life expectancy, closing of ‘gender gap’
The summary, which will be followed by a more comprehensive
report to be released in May, is based on approximately 90 percent
of death records reported in all 50 states for 2004 and shows an
increase in life expectancy and a narrowing of the gender gap.
the report include:
life expectancy of Americans in 2004 – 77.9 years – is the highest
it has ever been.
life expectancy for women in the United States is 80.4 years; the
life expectancy for U.S. men is 75.2 years.
life expectancy gender gap is narrowing – the 5.2 years difference
in 2004 was the smallest difference since 1946.
disease moved into 7th place among leading killers in the United
States, passing influenza and pneumonia.
death rates fell to a record low of 801 deaths per 100,000
population in 2004, down from almost 833 deaths per 100,000 in 2003.
deaths (nearly 2.4 million in 2004) declined almost 50,000 between
2003 and 2004, the biggest one year drop in several decades.
Preliminary Data for 2004
Arialdi M. Miniño, M.P.H.; Melonie Heron, Ph.D.; and Betty L. Smith,
B.S. Ed., Division of Vital Statistics
report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s
National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) provides selected key
findings from 2004 preliminary mortality data for the United States.
The findings come from a substantial portion of the records of
deaths that occurred in calendar year 2004 and were received and
processed by NCHS as of September 12, 2005. Mortality records are
based on information reported on death certificates as completed by
funeral directors, attending physicians, medical examiners, and
report that includes a more complete analysis of the preliminary
data is forthcoming .
Key findings from this report follow:
Highlights from Preliminary Mortality Data, 2004
preliminary, estimated number of deaths in the United States for
2004 was 2,398,343
estimated age-adjusted death rate, which accounts for changes in the
age distribution of the population, reached a record low of 801.0
per 100,000 U.S. standard population. The preliminary crude death
rate for 2004 was 816.7 per 100,000 population.
preliminary estimate of life expectancy at birth for the total
population in 2004 reached a record high of 77.9 years
15 leading causes of death in 2004 were:
of heart (heart disease);
lower respiratory diseases;
nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis (kidney disease;
liver disease and cirrhosis;
(primary) hypertension and hypertensive renal disease
due to solids and liquids.
preliminary infant mortality rate for 2004 was 6.76 infant deaths
per 1,000 live births
10 leading causes of infant mortality for 2004 were:
malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities
related to short gestation and low birth weight, not elsewhere
classified (low birthweight);
infant death syndrome (SIDS);
affected by maternal complications of pregnancy (maternal
affected by complications of placenta, cord and membranes (cord and
distress of newborn;
sepsis of newborn;
hypoxia and birth asphyxia.
age-adjusted death rate reached a record low 801.0 per 100,000 U.S.
standard population . This value is 3.8 percent lower than the 2003
rate of 832.7 (. All the sex, race, and Hispanic origin groups
described in this report showed significant decreases in the
age-adjusted death rate between 2003 and 2004. The relative
magnitudes of these decreases were:
white males (3.5 percent);
white females (3.2 percent);
black males (4.4 percent);
black females (3.9 percent);
Indian males (5.9 percent);
Indian females (5.9 percent);
or Pacific Islander males (5.1 percent);
or Pacific Islander females (3.5 percent);
males (6.1 percent); and
females (6.3 percent).
expectancy at birth for the total population in 2004 reached a
record high of 77.9 years. This represents an increase of 0.4 year
relative to 2003. Record-high life expectancies were reached for
white and black males, as well as for white and black females (Figure
trend toward convergence in mortality figures across the sexes
continued in 2004. The difference in life expectancy at birth
between male and female has decreased an average one-tenth of a year
every year since 1980. The difference between male and female life
expectancy was 5.2 years in 2004, the smallest such difference since
trend toward convergence in mortality figures across the major race
groups also continued in 2004. The trend that began between 1993 and
1994 has meant an average decrease of one-fifth of a year every year
since 1993. The difference between white and black life expectancy
in 2004 was 5.0 years.
15 leading causes of death in 2004 remained the same as in 2003 with
the exception that Alzheimer’s disease and Influenza and pneumonia
swapped positions with each other relative to their previous
placement in 2003. The age-adjusted death rate declined
significantly for 10 of the 15 leading causes of death. Long-term
decreasing trends for heart disease, cancer, and stroke (the three
leading causes of death) continued. Increases occurred for
hypertension and Alzheimer’s disease.
slight decrease (1.3 percent) in the infant mortality rate between
2003 and 2004 was not statistically significant.