Age and Cause

Leading Causes of Preventable Death by Age

The average number of preventable deaths in 2017 across all ages was 1,692. 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, 118 people die from preventable poisonings due to opioid drugs,

accounting for 43,036 deaths in 2017. An additional 4,564 people died in 2017 from intentional opioid overdoses or overdoses where the intent was undetermined.

Deaths dip below the average between ages 66 and 80 before briefly spiking again, driven by older adult falls.

  • Chart
  • Data Table

Preventable deaths by age, United States, 2017

Age
Total Deaths
Leading causes of preventable death
Poisoning
Motor-vehicle
Falls
Choking (*)
Drowning
Fires, flames, smoke
Mechanical suffocation
0 1,317 9 91 13 42 43 15 1,064
1 417 10 145 5 26 146 13 36
2 347 8 114 2 9 143 22 10
3 292 8 108 4 8 82 31 7
4 211 4 86 1 7 53 23 7
5 158 0 70 4 5 37 22 2
6 153 1 78 0 3 34 20 3
7 148 3 67 2 4 28 23 3
8 148 2 82 3 1 17 16 6
9 111 0 63 3 5 9 13 4
10 135 3 67 7 3 15 13 4
11 144 3 184 3 1 18 10 8
12 179 7 100 1 2 30 10 8
13 169 7 104 3 1 20 12 4
14 233 19 140 4 3 27 10 1
15 309 18 205 7 1 35 4 6
16 554 36 412 9 3 31 11 7
17 686 80 494 11 1 40 7 3
18 1,096 199 754 17 7 51 5 4
19 1.313 354 774 28 3 54 9 4
20 1,464 491 775 29 5 56 14 5
21 746 660 908 26 7 52 12 3
22 1,879 862 865 25 4 33 6 6
23 2,126 1,105 831 23 7 59 5 10
24 2,278 1,225 846 37 5 58 10 10
25 2,379 1,350 814 33 4 53 11 13
26 2,472 1,455 783 32 6 50 17 4
27 2,463 1,624 810 39 8 47 15 12
28 2,637 1,700 725 30 14 47 13 14
29 2,603 1,652 746 25 5 48 222 8
30 2,494 1,626 656 28 9 53 7 14
31 2,548 1,696 631 33 9 48 17 6
32 2,616 1,799 592 42 4 45 22 9
33 2,612 1,789 626 42 6 34 12 10
34 2,656 1,787 641 47 8 54 18 12
35 2,611 1,806 567 50 13 47 14 6
36 2,616 1,803 580 41 16 41 17 9
37 2,498 1,670 588 43 11 36 27 4
38 2,298 1,519 541 45 13 45 17 7
39 2,337 1,570 515 66 10 34 20 3
40 2,247 1,481 525 40 19 47 21 8
41 2,166 1,376 529 51 20 40 28 5
42 2,061 1,321 504 53 9 36 19 10
43 1,987 1,246 464 64 17 40 16 12
44 2,016 1,240 511 69 13 31 23 6
45 2,220 1,366 540 80 22 51 18 10
46 2,325 1,500 519 83 19 41 22 3
47 2,463 1,550 558 97 29 52 18 9
48 2,347 1,476 530 87 24 39 27 9
49 2,278 1,365 572 89 28 39 34 12
50 2,322 1,407 539 117 30 39 31 15
51 2,444 1,450 555 133 43 46 30 9
52 2,498 1,449 568 170 48 50 40 12
53 2,784 1,596 647 191 51 47 35 10
54 2,780 1,548 632 201 44 47 56 14
55 2,715 1,509 653 181 55 48 50 8
56 2,761 1,461 662 215 65 52 64 12
57 2,667 1,363 647 244 61 65 42 7
58 2,554 1,259 594 267 66 54 50 13
59 2,445 1,139 590 250 78 54 68 15
60 2,338 997 609 290 85 49 65 7
61 2,123 868 560 279 58 47 60 13
62 2,060 765 535 325 84 46 65 6
63 1,905 637 497 381 81 44 55 7
64 1,840 583 481 328 82 51 66 8
65 1,733 463 471 359 80 50 63 8
66 1,579 409 401 347 89 43 50 11
67 1,568 325 422 385 98 41 67 2
68 1,531 251 398 446 94 43 62 6
69 1,571 261 400 487 119 32 54 7
70 1,616 160 414 574 96 43 68 10
71 1,288 114 315 474 87 34 56 8
72 1,269 110 318 479 95 31 11 4
73 1,414 76 329 578 112 33 40 9
74 1,469 72 355 623 106 31 66 7
75 1,404 66 333 620 120 23 43 4
76 1,469 52 328 683 96 25 50 5
77 1,494 50 304 729 110 31 39 2
78 1,567 55 300 819 110 15 39 9
79 1,635 27 305 903 115 21 45 3
80 1,623 32 277 881 115 23 50 1
81 1,801 36 260 1,083 138 26 31 2
82 1,854 38 271 1,085 135 22 38 7
83 1,807 21 238 1,119 135 22 42 3
84 2,007 29 220 1,296 135 18 36 1
85 2,060 26 218 1,364 145 14 27 3
86 2,192 28 227 1,477 157 8 29 1
87 2,209 24 190 1,535 165 14 30 2
88 2,202 20 160 1,533 153 11 25 5
89 2,154 24 153 1,480 146 14 23 1
90 2,081 21 136 1,477 130 10 21 0
91 1,924 20 95 1,371 134 8 20 4
92 1,862 16 94 1,368 100 2 11 2
93 1,630 14 61 1,218 100 3 16 2
94 1,434 11 49 1,067 83 1 9 1
95 1,191 4 34 874 78 2 13 0
96 986 7 19 722 86 3 7 3
97 707 1 17 528 42 0 1 0
98 499 1 17 379 20 0 1 0
99 403 2 4 308 21 1 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