The Top 8 Causes of Death in the U.S.

October 29, 2019

What does it take to heal?

What does it take to avoid preventable disease?

What does it take to experience optimal health?

What does it take to experience a full, healthy life?

And how do we achieve these WITHOUT breaking the bank?


As a nation the U.S. isn’t answering these questions very well. Consider first the following information and statistics on the top causes of death in the U.S.…



“Abortion kills twice. It kills the body of the baby and it kills the conscience of the mother. Abortion is profoundly anti-women. Three quarters of its victims are women: half the babies and all of the mothers.” ~Mother Teresa


Nearly 1 million pre-born people are killed every year in the U.S. through abortion. That’s nearly 2,500 A DAY. Legalized abortion has taken the lives of between 744,000 and 1.6 million Americans each year since 1973, and in the first 44 years since Roe v. Wade (1973-2016) there have been over 60 million pre-born babies killed in the U.S. [1-4]


If there’s a silver lining with abortion in the U.S. it’s that the number of abortions performed every year has steadily tacked down since reaching a high point in the early 1990s. In 2016 (the latest year data is available) there were an estimated 893,000 abortions performed on American soil. [4]


Financially speaking, the average cost for an abortion is around $485, and increases to more than $850 for second trimester abortions. Roughly 80% of abortion costs are paid out of pocket. And with close to a million lives lost annually through abortion, its estimated that $2.5 TRILLION in annual GDP is also lost, in addition to $200 billion in taxes. [5-6]



“Heart disease is not a Lipitor, Crestor or even an anacetrapib deficiency. It is a complex end result of multiple factors driven by our diet, fitness level, stress and other lifestyle factors such as smoking, social connections and, increasingly, environmental toxins.” ~Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D.


More than 650,000 Americans die annually from heart disease (or over 1,700 a day). Add stroke deaths to this total and the number of annual U.S. deaths directly related to the cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels) climbs to over 790,000. The annual number of Americans dying from heart disease has been between 600,000 and 700,000 since the mid-1950s. [7]


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Financially speaking, about one out of every six U.S. healthcare dollars is spent on heart/cardiovascular disease. For the person with heart disease and no other chronic conditions, average annual medical expenses are over $7,000 (or more than $580 a month). For the person with heart disease and at least one other chronic condition, average medical costs are over $14,000 (or more than $1,160 a month). What about heart attacks and strokes you say? Americans suffer 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes each year. For heart attacks, the average hospital stay is around 5 days and costs over $21,000. [8-10]



“Everyone should know that most cancer research is largely a fraud, and that the major cancer research organizations are derelict in their duties to the people who support them.”

~Dr. Linus Pauling, M.D., 2x Nobel Prize Winner (1901-1994)


“There is not one but many cures for cancer. But they are all being systematically suppressed by the ACS (American Cancer Society), the NCI (National Cancer Institute), and the major oncology centers (MD Anderson, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Mayo, etc.) … They have too much of an interest in the status quo. Mainstream medicine works to maintain its current level of ineptitude.”

~Dr. Robert Atkins, M.D. (1930-2003)


“But today in the United States- and this shows you where fascism really exists- any doctor in the United States who cures cancer using alternative methods will be destroyed. You cannot name me a doctor doing well with cancer using alternative therapies that is not under attack. And I know these people; I’ve interviewed them.” ~Gary Null, PhD, Author


Approximately 600,000 people die each year from cancer in the U.S (or over 1,600 a day). The annual number of Americans dying from cancer has risen steadily for each of the last 7 decades…


1950s: ~220k/yr

1960s: ~280k/yr

1970s: ~320k/yr

1980s: ~420k/yr

1990s: ~500k/yr

2000s: ~520k/yr


The four types of cancer that are responsible for the greatest number of annual deaths include lung, colorectal, breast and pancreatic. Thyroid cancer may be the fastest growing cancer type, especially among women, and pancreatic and liver cancers are among the most deadly. [7]



As with most disease, cancer treatment costs are dependent on several factors, including type, length and location of treatment, as well as type of insurance coverage. Conventional oncology treatments center around three interventions- surgery, chemotherapy and radiation (what some in alternative medicine derisively call the “cut, poison and burn” approach). A 2014 study examining cancer costs found the following…


*Cancer surgery costs range, on average, from $14,000 to just over $56,000

*Chemotherapy treatment lasts, on average, 3-4 months and costs $28,000-$35,000 (or >$8,000 a month)

*Radiation treatment lasts, on average, around 2 months and costs around $23,500 (or >$11,000 a month)


A 2009 study estimated that those with breast cancer could pay between $20,000-$100,000. And how about one more alarming statistic: In 2005 the average cost of a new cancer drug was ~$4,500 per month. In 2015 that cost rose to ~$10,000 A MONTH. [11-13]



“I am dying from the treatment of too many physicians.” ~Alexander the Great, 4th century B.C.


“Some wounds are made worse by treatment, as we see. It had been better not to touch them.”

~Ovid, Roman Poet (43 BC – 17 AD)


“America is losing faith in modern medicine, and for good reason.” ~Dr. Julian Whitaker, M.D.


“A hospital patient can expect one medical error every single day of any hospital stay. Malpractice suits are numerous enough that one may reasonably conclude that there is certainly no guarantee of proper health care by contracting it out.” ~Dr. Andrew W. Saul, PhD, Author


Yes, you read that right. Medical error is at least the #4 cause of death in the U.S. (and may be #3 or #2, depending on which study you accept). The numbers are staggering, with anywhere from 250,000-783,000 people dying annually from iatrogenic reasons (numbers that, even with the most conservative estimate, are still up from the 225,000 medical error deaths a year estimated in 2000). This works out to anywhere from 700-2100 American deaths a day due to medical error. Among these, more than 80,000 a year die from hospital-acquired infections and over 100,000 a year die from the negative side effects of prescription drugs TAKEN AS PRESCRIBED. [14-16]



It's not just the ~1,000 deaths per day that should be a huge cause for alarm, noted Dr. Joanne Disch, PhD, RN and clinical professor at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, who also spoke before Congress on the matter. There are also the 10,000 serious complications resulting from medical errors that occur each day as well (which is a far more common outcome than death). Indeed, some 40% of Americans say they’ve personally suffered from a medical mistake- including a wrong diagnosis by their doctor, an incorrect procedure at a hospital, or getting the wrong prescription or dosage from a pharmacist.


Financially speaking, the average cost per incident of preventable harm is over $58,000 per injury (paid for by Medicare, other insurers, malpractice insurance and the patients themselves). The economic impact may be close to $1 trillion annually when quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) are applied to those who die from medical error. [17-20]



Abortion: Legalized abortion kills about the same number of Americans every day as were killed in the terrorist attacks on 9/11 (where 2,605 U.S. lives were lost) and Pearl Harbor in 1941 (when 2,403 U.S. lives were lost). [21-22]


Heart Disease & Cancer: Heart disease (>1,700) and cancer (>1,600) kill about the same number of Americans every day as died due to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (when an estimated 1,800 lives were lost). [23]


Medical Error: The deadliest passenger plane crash in U.S. history cost the lives of 273 Americans. Every day, medical error kills 2 to 7 TIMES this amount. [24]


So can you imagine turning on the television (or looking at the newspaper or opening your internet browser) and EVERY SINGLE DAY hearing about…


ANOTHER 9/11 or Pearl Harbor-like attack (abortion deaths)?

AND Hurricane Katrina-like disasters (heart disease and cancer deaths)?

AND 747 planes full of people crashed with no survivors (medical error deaths)?


Imagine the effect that would have on you. Imagine the shock, the emotions. Imagine how that might compel you to ACTION. Well my friend, you don’t need to imagine, because that’s EXACTLY what’s happening every day in the U.S. So why aren’t the headlines and top stories about abortion, heart disease, cancer and medical error EVERY DAY? Perhaps because “familiarity breeds contempt.” Or perhaps because the cause of death from the top killers don’t appear to be as dramatic (i.e. news-worthy) as the catastrophic events mentioned above.



According to CDC data, almost 170,000 accidental deaths occur each year in the United States (that's more than 450 a day). Of these deaths, 65,000-75,000 are attributed to unintentional poisoning, more than 40,000 to motor vehicle-related events, and more than 35,000 to accidental falls. There were more than 39 million trips to the doctor's office for accidents in 2016, and more than 29 million trips to the emergency department. While the death rates of motor vehicle accidents slowly tacked down from 1980 to 2014 (with a slight uptick in the last few years), the death rates from accidental poisoning (both drug and non-drug related) have increased substantially. [25]


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Approximately 160,000 Americans die from CRD every year (that’s more than 400 deaths a day). In 1980 the rate was 41 deaths for every 100,000 Americans. The rate rose to nearly 53 out of 100,000 by 2014, a 30% increase over the course of 35 years (roughly 85% of CRD deaths over that time period were from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD). This data is interesting given that the prevalence of cigarette smoking among American adults significantly decreased during this same time period (from 35% in 1980 to around 17% in 2014). So what explains the increase in CRD? Other than cigarette smoke there are a variety of factors that can contribute to the development of CRD, including...


  • Smoke not from cigarettes (marijuana, burning trash, forest fires, agricultural burning, etc.)

  • Emissions from industrial and manufacturing plants

  • Combustion from fossil fuels (cars, airplanes, ships, etc.)

  • Farm chemicals, household mold & mildew, pet dander, certain building materials, cleaning chemicals, environmental toxins 

  • Even dietary and medication allergies can trigger shortness of breath and/or damage the lungs.


One contributing factor to the increase in CRD may be an increase in marijuana smoking. Studies and polls have shown that Americans’ attitude toward marijuana shifted significantly from 1980 (when 25% favored its legal use) to 2014 (when 58% favored making it legal). And those who regularly use marijuana went from just 3% in 2002 to 13% in 2016. Has marijuana smoke replaced some cigarette smoke, thus contributing to respiratory disease? [25-29]




"Alzheimer's dementia is not a mysterious, untreatable brain disease- it is a reversible, metabolic/toxic, usually systemic illness with a relatively large window for treatment." ~Dr. Dale Bredesen M.D. 


Alzheimer’s accounts for around 120,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. From 1999 to 2014 the mortality rate due to Alzheimer’s has increased 55-89% (depending on the study looked at). In 2017, costs associated with Alzheimer’s in the U.S. were $259 BILLION. [30-31]




"Today, Diabetes is now epidemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control, The National Institutes of Health, The American Diabetes Association and other national healthcare leaders." ~Congressman Tim Holden


"If you don't give diabetics the choice of a low carb diet, you don't give them the choice to avoid complications." ~Dr. Katharine Morrison, M.D.  


Type 2 diabetes kills around 85,000 Americans each year, and mortality rates have QUADRUPLED from 1980 to 2014. In 1980, the CDC reported 5.5 million people in the U.S. with diabetes. In 2014 that number leaped to nearly 22 million people (an almost 300% increase when U.S. population growth is considered). And one 2017 study suggests that diabetes has accounted for a much higher percentage of U.S. deaths than previous research indicates, putting it behind only abortion, heart disease, cancer and medical error (and ahead of respiratory disease and Alzheimer’s). [32-34]




Above is a lot of bad news. But there is some good news- it doesn’t have to be this way! America doesn’t have to be a country full of death via abortion, cardiovascular disease, cancer, medical error, accidents, respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes. But in order to turn the tide there must be a widespread and significant shift- a shift in our attitudes, a shift in our lifestyles, and a shift in the way we think about and practice healthcare. 




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