What Is South Dakota’s Most Distinctive Cause of Death?
There are all kinds of ways to die and there are all kinds of statistics that keep track of how people ultimately meet their demise.
In the United States, the people tracking the numbers are the folks at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and from 2001 to 2010 they noted the causes of death in every US state.
And while things like heart disease, cancer, and automobile accidents ended the lives of the majority of Americans during that time, the CDC also kept a list of the most 'distinctive' cause of death in each state, relative to its national average.
The CDC says the list is designed to 'to present a more nuanced view of mortality variation within the United States than what can be seen by using only the 10 most common causes of death'.
The results of this 'alternative list' show the causes of death in each state that are more frequent than the national average.
In South Dakota that would be deaths from influenza - 141 in all during the study's duration. Maine, North Dakota, and Wyoming also had higher than average death rates from the flu virus.
Another common cause of death was the accidental discharge of firearms. Four states - Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, and Tennessee - all topped the national average in that category.