Sample Paper on Leading Causes of Death in Maryland

Maryland State

The report of the underlying causes of deaths 1999- 2017 in the U.S shows heart diseases as the main cause of deaths among American citizens. The data from the state of Maryland indicates a steady increase in the prevalence of heart diseases, despite the overall declining mortality rate of U.S. citizens. In 2017’s ranking of heart related deaths per state, the State of Maryland was ranked 20th with 11,653 heart-related deaths out of the total 647,457 deaths due to the condition in the country. My study focused on Maryland State because of its heterogeneous population. The population of the state currently stands at 5,773,552 as per the 2010 Census. Of the population; Whites are the majority at 56.19%, African Americans at 29.78%, Asian 6.23%, other races 4.16%, two or more races 3.32%, Native Americans 0.26%, and Native Hawaiian 0.05% (World Population Review, 2020).Therefore, the findings from the underlying causes of deaths in Maryland State can be generalized for the country.

Comparison of the Causes of Deaths in Maryland State and U.S.

The leading causes of death in Maryland and U.S. over the years are common, nonetheless; the degrees of prevalence vary. From 1999 to 2017, the two main underlying causes of deaths in USA were heart diseases and cancer (malignant neoplasm), and they accounted for 43% of the country’s total deaths in 2017. Per Heron (2019), accidents (unintentional injuries), chronic lower respiratory diseases (CLRD), and cerebrovascular diseases ranked third to fifth respectively. Similarly, the mentioned diseases were the leading five leading causes of death in Maryland State. However, while heart diseases and cancer are on top of the list in Maryland, cerebrovascular diseases, accidents, and chronic lower respiratory diseases ranked third, fourth, and fifth respectively. As such, the diseases are common but the prevalence is different.

Trends of underlying causes of deaths based on age and race. The report also shows that the dominant causes of death vary based on different demographic variables such as race and age. For instance, in 2017, the deaths of infants in Maryland were mainly due to unintentional injuries, at approximately 36% of deaths within ages 1-9 years. Moreover, the CDC report shows a 40% increase in age-adjusted unintended injury-related deaths from 35.3 in 1999 to 49.4 in 2017. On the other hand, persons aged 45-65 died mainly of cancer, and deaths due to chronic illnesses were more rampant among the older persons, aged 65 years and over than other age groups. Hence, age affects the susceptibility of a given age group to a specific disease.

The death rates also differ with race, given that it influences the attitudes of patients towards health interventions (different races have different culture congruent health practices). For example, heart diseases are the leading cause of deaths among African Americans more than their White or Asian counterparts. African Americans’ deaths in 2017 were double those of Asians at a rate of 208 deaths against 85 deaths per 100,000 standard population. (National Center for Health Statistics, 2019). Deaths among the Hispanic and non-Hispanic API populations were mainly due to cancer.  Therefore, Health risks depend on age, and racial origin.

Determinants of health. When checking factors that can lead to effective health promotion programs, one has to consider age, gender, and racial origin since the three factors influence a patient’s health outcomes. Age affects the vulnerability of different patients to various diseases, while gender significantly influences information seeking. For instance, in a study by Geeks et al. (2009), men were not as interested as women in knowing more about diabetes and obesity, thus, men were less keen on protecting themselves from the conditions than women. Racial origin determines the lifestyle and health behaviors. Consequently, lifestyle-related diseases can be effectively controlled by incorporating culture into care services. The approach will not only result in patient-centered care, but also the appreciation of different cultures.

The data from Maryland State portrays an increase in lifestyle-based diseases. As such, the main causes of death in U.S. from 1999 to 2017 are due to the sedentary lifestyle adopted by American citizens. The diseases like heart diseases and cancer can be minimized by developing health programs that are based on age, gender and race of patients.


Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d). Underlying causes of death 1999-2017. Retrieved from;jsessionid=EE161466F15A7875A0A5EEBB277B4C96

Deeks, A., Lombard, C., Michelmore, J. & Teede, H. (2009). The effects of age and gender on health related behaviors. Biomed Central (BMC) Public Health, 9(213), pp. 1-8. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-9-213

Heron, M. (2019). Deaths: leading causes in 2017. National Vital Statistics Report, 68(6), pp. 1-77. Retrieved from

National Center for Health Statistics. (2019). Health, United States spotlight: Racial and ethnic disparities in heart disease. Retrieved from

World Population Review. (2020). Maryland population 2020. Retrieved from