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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1999 Aug 6;48(30):664-8.

Mortality patterns--United States, 1997.


In 1997, a total of 2,314,245 deaths were registered in the United States-445 fewer than the record high of 2,314,690 in 1996. The overall age-adjusted death rate was 479.1 per 100,000 standard (1940) population, the lowest ever recorded. In 1997, nearly two thirds of deaths resulted from heart disease, cancer, and stroke. This report summarizes mortality patterns in 1997 and compares them with patterns in 1996. National death statistics are based on information from death certificates filed in state vital statistics offices and are compiled by CDC into a national database. Cause-of-death statistics are based on the underlying cause of death. Causes of death are recorded on the death certificate by the attending physician, medical examiner, or coroner using a format specified by the World Health Organization and endorsed by CDC.

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