Age and Cause

Leading Causes of Preventable Death by Age

The average number of preventable deaths in 2015 across all ages was 1,607. However, this average is far exceeded during the prime of life, from 21 to 65. Because preventable injury deaths often occur to young healthy people, many victims never have a chance to graduate college and start their careers, while others leave behind young families.

For teens and young adults, this is driven largely by motor vehicle crashes.

Poisoning was the leading cause of preventable death for all ages, combined, for the fifth consecutive year and was the leading cause of preventable death for every age from 23 to 64. This is largely due to the opioid epidemic affecting millions of people in the U.S.

On a typical day, 103 people die from preventable poisonings due to opioid drugs, accounting for 37,814 deaths in 2016. An additional 4,435 people died in 2016 from intentional opioid overdoses or overdoses where the intent was undetermined.

Deaths dip below the average between ages 66 and 81 before briefly spiking again, driven by older adult falls.

  • Chart
  • Data Table

Preventable deaths by age, United States, 2016

Age
Total Deaths
Leading causes of preventable death
Poisoning
Motor-vehicle
Falls
Choking (*)
Drowning
Fires, flames, smoke
Mechanical suffocation
0 1,219 9 91 7 33 38 12 990
1 389 14 113 7 25 134 23 37
2 366 5 114 6 15 143 28 13
3 290 10 105 3 9 88 25 11
4 216 5 88 3 3 60 28 5
5 174 4 86 2 2 42 21 3
6 171 0 92 0 3 38 20 4
7 158 1 83 2 1 33 17 5
8 147 2 89 0 2 20 12 6
9 137 6 74 1 2 14 8 7
10 144 3 95 1 0 13 13 4
11 169 4 105 1 2 21 14 8
12 141 2 83 4 5 18 10 5
13 171 10 93 2 1 26 10 9
14 222 9 144 6 0 25 5 5
15 316 21 209 6 3 32 5 1
16 550 61 388 10 3 37 8 4
17 793 98 544 12 2 66 6 6
18 1,151 225 750 20 3 61 11 8
19 1,342 366 801 18 6 57 5 7
20 1,537 519 826 30 3 67 8 5
21 1,848 707 937 33 3 62 10 7
22 2,004 853 955 20 3 48 12 9
23 2,082 999 891 20 3 43 16 15
24 2,272 1,148 902 30 7 57 16 11
25 2,403 1,298 880 25 4 51 15 10
26 2,419 1,365 833 33 12 50 18 14
27 2,379 1,395 781 28 5 53 11 8
28 2,443 1,487 748 37 11 47 12 8
29 2,297 1,410 688 21 5 45 18 6
30 2,370 1,462 671 39 6 60 10 12
31 2,380 1,500 677 31 10 38 14 13
32 2,410 1,533 669 35 9 42 14 6
33 2,419 1,558 646 25 10 37 21 7
34 2,464 1,623 587 52 19 40 21 11
35 2,378 1,588 552 37 12 43 17 10
36 2,305 1,493 560 39 12 38 31 15
37 2,237 1,454 531 50 15 46 20 10
38 2,158 1,427 506 46 11 37 24 12
39 2,076 1,322 513 53 13 45 14 13
40 1,877 1,142 502 59 17 43 20 11
41 1,948 1,196 525 47 19 34 21 12
42 1,891 1,166 490 54 17 39 19 13
43 2,017 1,190 538 70 16 40 19 5
44 2,088 1,300 515 60 12 31 34 13
45 2,156 1,285 528 88 23 48 28 7
46 2,216 1,354 549 86 28 41 29 9
47 2,154 1,260 531 99 21 43 27 10
48 2,193 1,281 530 102 27 43 35 13
49 2,253 1,349 520 111 25 45 27 12
50 2,270 1,315 557 105 31 52 28 15
51 2,438 1,369 614 133 44 57 31 9
52 2,619 1,453 663 147 35 49 47 14
53 2,573 1,422 629 183 31 49 34 15
54 2,505 1,351 605 184 35 51 43 15
55 2,622 1,365 627 227 45 51 62 13
56 2,579 1,309 634 226 67 41 49 17
57 2,430 1,237 569 227 60 43 51 10
58 2,399 1,142 610 244 67 49 60 11
59 2,356 1,040 597 302 76 47 57 9
60 2,089 822 585 265 75 53 56 12
61 2,003 737 562 265 68 63 66 12
62 1,904 702 519 296 73 54 49 12
63 1,755 583 480 299 60 49 57 9
64 1,723 501 446 328 84 48 75 12
65 1,630 391 466 363 85 33 59 10
66 1,435 313 406 311 69 40 61 6
67 1,497 284 436 399 79 45 48 7
68 1,498 232 429 428 91 41 50 6
69 1,519 178 427 479 94 40 59 9
70 1,227 124 352 414 70 47 53 4
71 1,218 98 333 428 87 30 38 7
72 1,242 102 313 484 75 33 51 5
73 1,411 86 343 579 105 29 59 9
74 1,373 79 312 594 107 29 44 9
75 1,343 57 277 611 109 20 49 9
76 1,395 44 309 650 91 33 48 6
77 1,415 37 289 695 107 23 45 10
78 1,478 47 269 765 113 24 40 2
79 1,480 34 255 800 100 27 38 5
80 1,565 32 296 869 95 23 35 4
81 1,735 33 279 1,021 123 23 31 6
82 1,665 35 233 994 136 16 28 2
83 1,751 25 257 1,084 116 24 26 0
84 1,932 22 229 1,246 145 17 26 2
85 1,976 26 204 1,299 129 13 32 6
86 2,128 23 187 1,446 129 22 26 4
87 2,197 29 180 1,500 145 16 27 3
88 2,090 23 162 1,478 115 11 17 6
89 2,131 24 164 1,495 142 9 17 2
90 2,041 13 131 1,441 118 5 26 2
91 1,947 23 100 1,373 146 6 14 1
92 1,726 14 69 1,239 102 4 14 1
93 1,547 5 62 1,117 103 7 13 2
94 1,368 9 40 991 87 1 5 2
95 1,136 5 30 839 63 2 8 1
96 865 5 26 654 51 2 3 0
97 664 2 15 472 58 2 4 3
98 492 3 8 358 30 2 3 0
99 372 1 7 276 17 0 1 0


* Inhalation or ingestion of food or other objects.

Source: National Safety Council analysis of National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)–Mortality Data for 2016, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Rates are National Safety Council estimates based on data from NCHS and the U.S. Census Bureau. See the Technical Appendix for ICD-10 codes for the leading causes and comparability with prior years.

See data details