Why are mortality rates declining?

Between 1998 and 2012, the Long Island/NYC region saw a noticeable drop in mortality rates. For Suffolk County residents, this is partly attributable to a nearly 50 percent decrease in the mortality rate from heart disease, as well as a 25 percent decrease in the mortality rate from cancer. But even with these strides, Suffolk County's overall mortality rate is second highest, just after the Bronx.

What are the most common causes of death?

Whether it's advances in modern medicine or access to healthcare, the trend towards longer lives and decreased mortalities is undeniable according to data from NY state's vital statistics. Heart disease and cancer are consistently the top two in Long Island/NYC, but in other counties the order is sometimes reversed, with cancer first and heart disease second.

#1 Leading Cause:
Heart Disease
Rate per 100,000

#2 Leading Cause:
Cancer
Rate per 100,000

Nassau

heart disease 197
336.3,336.5,306.1,285.9,279.8,270.8,253,250,249.1,240.1,241.5,206.4,213.9,208,197.1
cancer 144
197.4,196.8,182,180,168.6,166.8,164.7,160.7,153.2,154.3,149.8,142.4,143.9,139.3,144.2

Suffolk

heart disease 210
331.4,347,341.2,331.4,319.2,311.1,290.6,280,272.8,241.5,234,237.2,227.4,209.8,210.7
cancer 157
215.7,220.3,200.8,196.8,197.5,191.3,189.1,186.7,183.9,174.3,170.5,165.9,162.5,158.6,156.9

Manhattan

heart disease 144
256.3,263.8,259.1,230.3,230.8,220.8,206.2,205.1,193.8,179.3,171.5,170.7,162.8,153.4,144.2
cancer 134
187.4,189.7,182.4,178.1,179.1,167.1,158.1,166,157.6,156.7,152.3,151.5,143.2,138.7,134.1

Bronx

heart disease 210
331.4,347,341.2,331.4,319.2,311.1,290.6,280,272.8,241.5,234,237.2,227.4,209.8,210.7
cancer 160
193.3,197.7,184.3,189.3,174.8,188.4,174.3,173.2,168.1,166.4,160.8,164.4,158.1,160.1,159.9

Brooklyn

heart disease 198
364.7,364.1,339.1,316.8,324.2,311.1,287.4,294,285.1,268.6,261.2,249.6,217.9,209.6,198
cancer 150
189.1,183.6,174.8,170.8,162.4,155.8,151.3,147.4,141.4,139.2,133.8,139,152.2,154.7,148.8

Queens

heart disease 179
332.1,332.3,331,315.2,310.5,293.3,266.5,265.1,249.7,236.4,223.3,220.8,209,187,179.2
cancer 140
165.4,165.1,163.1,155.8,146.8,144.9,144.3,137.4,139.7,134.1,123.9,128.3,137.2,134.5,137.9

Staten Island

heart disease 238
440.3,446.1,383.7,385.9,377,355.7,329.6,341.1,349.9,315,340.5,289.1,268.2,244.4,238.1
cancer 146
244.5,237.4,196.4,182.2,187.1,181.4,185.6,175.7,192.6,154.4,163,151.1,164.7,147.9,145.7

NYC

heart disease 185
329.7,333.8,323.3,304.6,303.4,289.9,267.5,267.8,257.6,239.5,231.9,225.5,207.8,193.2,185.4
cancer 144
184.6,183.6,175.4,171.1,164.4,161,155.8,153.5,150.9,146,140.2,142.7,147.6,145.8,144.2

Westchester

heart disease 211
331.4,347,341.2,331.4,319.2,311.1,290.6,280,272.8,241.5,234,237.2,227.4,209.8,210.7
cancer 157
215.7,220.3,200.8,196.8,197.5,191.3,189.1,186.7,183.9,174.3,170.5,165.9,162.5,158.6,156.9

What else do we die from?

In counties throughout the state, the third and fourth leading causes of death tend to be lung disease or stroke, and that's where we differ. Pneumonia claimed a number of lives in the five boroughs while in Long Island, accidents – vehicular, drug poisonings, and falls – was the #3 killer in Nassau and Suffolk counties in 2012 and continues to trend upwards.

#3 Leading Cause
Rate per 100,000

#4 Leading Cause
Rate per 100,000

Nassau

stroke 23.6
32.3,35.5,29.2,27.7,29.5,26.4,26.2,25.4,24.1,23.2,23.4,21.6,21.3,22.4,23.6
lung 23.8
27.3,32,27.5,28.3,28.1,24.5,22.8,22.8,23.1,23.3,25,22.9,22.8,23.6,23.8

Suffolk

accidents 42.6
28,32.7,29.7,29.6,31,28.2,24.7,32,30.5,35.3,33.6,28.2,33.7,40.8,42.6
lung 32.7
39,39.9,40.1,39,35.4,35.6,33.4,36.2,34.2,32.2,31.4,30.5,31.3,33.8,32.7

Manhattan

pneumonia 18.8
36.9,34.3,37.3,38.5,36.9,39.6,41.7,37.9,29.8,28.5,26,25.6,22.3,21.6,18.8
lung 18.8
35.6,38.4,35,30.2,39.6,34.5,33,26.9,22.2,24.6,21.5,25.4,28.2,29.2,27.9

Bronx

pneumonia 32.1
44.6,36,35.8,45.7,38.7,38.9,36.2,34.9,36,29.6,30.7,28.9,36.6,33.4,32.1
diabetes 25
38.2,40.4,32.4,34.6,38.7,32.7,34.8,36.9,30.3,30.3,27.9,26.6,26.9,25

Brooklyn

pneumonia 28.8
34.7,32,27.5,29.4,32.6,32.3,35.7,34.4,28.1,23.4,22.7,25.9,30.1,33,28.8
diabetes 25.6
23.3,26.8,25.8,24.5,21.7,24.6,23.3,23,20.1,18.9,19.4,21,23.5,25.1,25.6

Queens

pneumonia 23.4
24.8,24.2,21.2,21,21.2,21.1,24,24.8,25.3,25.3,24,21.3,26.6,26.6,23.4
stroke 21.2
24.4,26.2,23.7,21,21.7,19.6,18.9,19.4,19.3,17.5,16.5,16.4,19.5,21.2

Staten Island

accidents 35.5
18.9,13.4,12.2,15.2,14.6,13.8,14.5,15.6,14,18.6,24.6,21.7,24.2,25.4,35.5
lung 27.9
35.6,38.4,35,30.2,39.6,34.5,33,26.9,22.2,24.6,21.5,25.4,28.2,29.2,27.9

NYC

pneumonia 25.3
34.7,31.6,29.7,31.6,31.1,32.4,35,34,30,26.3,24.9,25,28.3,28.4,25.3
diabetes 14.7
17.3,17.9,18.8,17.1,18.3,19.2,17,20.8,18.9,18.2,16.8,15.9,15.9,15.1,14.7

Westchester

stroke 23.6
38.1,36.5,39.5,38.3,38.7,30.2,32.8,31.2,32.9,26.1,26.1,24.1,23.4,25.2,23.6
lung 21.6
26.2,31.7,31.7,30.5,30.2,30.2,25.4,29.5,25.6,26.7,25.6,26.5,23.8,22.9,21.6

Which cancers do we die from the most?

For every 100,000 people, less than 200 died each year from cancer, according to the health department data for 2007-2011. Lung cancer accounts for the biggest portion of those deaths, as it does nationwide, however there's a slight variation in the mortality rate among counties and boroughs for both lung and prostate cancer.

Who is more likely to die before age 75?

In Long Island/NYC, the top cause of death before the age of 75 is cancer, which accounts for about a third, followed by heart disease which accounts for a quarter, according to health department data for residents who died under the age of 75 between 2010 and 2012. But the disparity is in the race, as African Americans and Latinos are more likely to die prematurely no matter which where they live, with Staten Island African Americans faring the worst locally as among those residents who died between 2010 and 2012, 70 percent were less than 75 years of age.

Does where you live influence how long you live?

It's statistically true that more women outlive men. But Westchester women and men are expected to outlive other residents in the region, with Nassau just behind them, according to projections by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. In addition, life expectancy between those born in 1985 and 2010 were gains between five and, in the case of Manhattan men, 13 years.