The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a map that outlines the most distinctive death causes in the 50 US states. According to the authors of this study, they have tried to provide the residents of the United States a more detailed view of the country’s mortality variation. Here, it must be mentioned that the most common causes of death in the nation are cancer and heart disease.

The research group began with 113 death causes; then, they divided the mortality rates in different states by rates in the entire country. Francis Boscoe, the study’s co-author and a representative of the New York State Cancer Registry, said that this newly released map is just a provocative and colorful way of initiating conversations and underlining some bizarre trends the country currently has.

The distinct causes of death identified by these researchers range from the common flu to HIV; the numbers put forward by them can surprise many. According to the map, in Florida, HIV has caused the death of around 15,000 people. However, in Louisiana, the most distinctive death cause syphilis has caused just 22 deaths.

Credit: Francis Boscoe, New York State Cancer Registry
Credit: Francis Boscoe, New York State Cancer Registry

During the study, researchers have come to know that in many states, the most distinctive death causes are very rare. The highlighted causes of death have taken lives of less than hundred people in 22 states.

When speaking about this anomaly, Boscoe said that if a cause of death is nearly nonexistent in all parts of the country, but one state has a handful of that cause, the map will most likely show it. However, experts say that the anomaly might also be due to improper handling of paperwork by the country healthcare professionals.

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CDC is expecting the map to play the role of a “conversation starter” and help the public health professionals to complete the form filling job after someone’s death with greater perfection. The map will thus be particularly useful to healthcare professionals who don’t use standard cause-of-mortality certification methods.

Having knowledge of the different practices in different states might help in the promotion of a better and more uniform method of documenting death. So, we can expect the map to become more accurate in the future.