Objectives: This report presents abridged cause-elimination life tables and multiple-decrement life table functions for 33 selected causes of death, by race (white and black) and sex, for the total United States. It is the fourth in a set of reports that present life table data for the United States and each state for the period 1999-2001.
Methods: The life table functions presented in this report represent the mortality experience of a hypothetical cohort assuming that a particular cause of death is eliminated. The report includes a description of the methodology used to estimate the life table functions shown in four sets of tables. Each set contains seven tables, one each for the total population, total males, total females, white males, white females, black males, and black females.
Results: From birth, a person has a 31% chance of dying of Diseases of heart (heart disease) and a 22% chance of dying of Malignant neoplasms (cancer). In contrast, the probabilities of dying from Accidents (unintentional injuries), Diabetes mellitus (diabetes), and Septicemia--3 of the 10 leading causes of death in 1991-2001--are much smaller. Likewise, elimination of heart disease would increase life expectancy at birth by almost 4 years, and elimination of cancer by more than 3 years. Other leading causes of death have a much smaller impact.