|MadSci Network: Medicine|
Dear Esther, The answer will depend on defining "disease." If you just mean “cancer,” then I highly recommend you visit the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) website, in particular a summary of cancer incidence and deaths and how different cancers affect different genders and ethnic groups in the US. The overall leaders in causing deaths in the US are cancers of the colon (large intestine) and lung. http://www.cancer.gov/newscenter/healthdisparities The NCI is part of the US National Institutes of Health. They track all cases of cancer in the United States and monitor cancer occurrence and deaths worldwide, too. They also pour lots of money into research efforts at universities and medical schools around the US to diagnose, treat, prevent, and understand cancer. If it’s other diseases you may be interested in learning about, then the leading cause of death in the US is heart attacks or strokes, so-called cardiovascular disease. You can find a lot of very useful information through the American Heart Association http://www.americanheart.org/ There are links to lots of information and background on heart disease, stroke, and much more. A thorough and detailed analysis of causes of death in the US overall is available for the information collected for the year 2001 and can be found in an online document from the US government Centers for Disease Control (CDC) http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr52/nvsr52_09.pdf. Hope this helps get you started, and good luck on your project. Paul Odgren, Ph.D. Dept. of Cell Biology University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester
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