What's #1, and does it really matter

What's #1, and does it really matter?

Published: March, 2014

Cancer surpasses heart disease among "young" Americans, but isn't tops overall.

Cancer, not heart disease, is now the leading cause of death among Americans under age 85. So says the American Cancer Society's 2005 statistical atlas of cancer. This report made headlines for a good reason: Since 1900, heart disease has claimed the top spot every year but one (1918, when the flu epidemic killed a half million Americans).

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise

New subscriptions to Harvard Health Online are temporarily unavailable. Click the button below to learn about our other subscription offers.

Learn More »