What causes disproportionate death in your state?

A new map highlights mortality rates, state by state.

What's your state's disproportionate cause of death?
What's your state's disproportionate cause of death?

In Maine, Washington, and seven other states, cancer is the leading cause of death, but in each of the other 41 states, heart failure tops the list, according to Slate's Ben Blatt.

Slate broke down the causes of death in each state in seven charts, highlighting statistics made available by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's most recent mortality data from 2005.

In order to determine the cause of death disproportionately affecting each state, Blatt measured a ratio of state level rate to national rate to identify, that compared to the national average, the causes of death by influenza and respiratory diseases in California and New York is higher in comparison than the other top 10 diseases.


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Blatt, however, cautions that the map data should not be used to draw conclusions about mortality rates between states. “Looking at this map, you probably would not guess that Utah has the sixth-highest diabetes rate in the country,” wrote Blatt. “Diabetes just happens to be the one disease that affects Utah most disproportionately.”

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