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Thread: Quiz: How many people die daily in US of natural causes?

  1. #1

    Default Quiz: How many people die daily in US of natural causes?

    To make things easy assume the population of 365 million and average age at death 100 years.
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  3. #2


    Depends on your definition of natural causes.
    "I am a bird"

  4. #3


    What does it mean to die of 'natural causes?'

    What are 'natural causes'?

    It might not seem to mean much at all. But when a death certificate says a person's death was "natural," it is really ruling out the involvement of external causes. The person did not take their own life and they were not killed by somebody else or in an accident such as a car crash or drug overdose.

    "It's solely and exclusively due to natural causes, a natural disease process —infection, cancer, heart disease, all of those things that are going to carry us off at some point along the way," Fowler said.

    Death certificates almost always include more details about specifically how the body failed, such as heart disease or kidney failure, even if it is only the best guess of the coroner (a trained official) or medical examiner (a doctor) charged with investigating the death.

    "When a medical examiner fills out a death certificate, it's their medical opinion based on all their experience and training that this is what happening," said Dr. David R. Fowler, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners.

    "You're rather like a judge. You weigh the evidence, and based on the predominance of evidence you come to a decision that I think this is what caused the problem, but I'm going to be an honest person and list all these other causes," Fowler said. These other causes appear in a second section of the death certificate for potential contributing causes.

    But that's not to say that something in the environment can't trigger a natural death. "If I'm playing a sport and have heart attack ... or shovel snow and have a heart attack because I stressed myself, that's natural," Fowler said. Yet if those activities precipitate a death that might not have otherwise happened, for example if shoveling snow caused hypothermia, that could be considered an accident, he added.

    Not a cause but a manner of death

    To capture all these nuances, death certificates go beyond just stating whether the death was natural or not.

    There is only a small section on most death certificates where doctors check a box to indicate the "manner of death" as natural, accident, suicide, homicide or "undetermined." There is a more involved section for "cause of death." Here doctors are required to try to specify the immediate cause of death, along with the underlying condition that led up to it, and how long before death they occurred.

    For example, on a death certificate where the manner of death is listed as natural, the immediate cause of death could be a tear in the heart wall that happened minutes before death, and the underlying causes could be a heart attack or heart disease that took place in the days, months and years before death.

    How common is 'natural' death?

    Globally, most deaths are considered natural. It was true a century ago and it is true today. The most common specific causes of natural deaths in the United States have shifted from the scourges of the early 1900s -- tuberculosis, influenza, diarrhea -- to modern killers such as heart disease and cancer. But through it all, accidents, suicides and homicides have made up less than 10% of total deaths.

    When a medical examiner determines a death to be natural, Fowler explained, they are usually able to list with a "reasonable degree of medical certainty" the threshold that states generally ask for: what the likely causes were. "It's unusual to have a natural manner of death and unknown causes."
    This article suggests that over 90% of deaths in the US are "natural causes".

    2.6 million deaths in the US per year- that would be about 2.4 million from "natural causes".
    Last edited by Zippyjuan; 10-05-2017 at 01:20 PM.
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  5. #4


    That's almost 10,000 a day now and the number will be going up as we age. This should put things in perspective a bit.
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  6. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by timosman View Post
    That's almost 10,000 a day now and the number will be going up as we age. This should put things in perspective a bit.
    Probably about 200 per day in an avg state .

  7. #6


    If approximately 100,000 die each year due to side effects of prescription drugs approx. 273 die each day from this cause. Another approx 100,000 die each year due to medical error...said to be the 3rd leading cause of death.

  8. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by luctor-et-emergo View Post
    Depends on your definition of natural causes.
    Right, hemlock's natural.

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