Stop You’re Killing Me

Probably the most interesting thing about the top 10 causes of death among U.S. adults is that the vast majority of them are directly affected by your health behaviors.  The common denominators are: (1) your diet and (2) regular screening.  Do you know what the leading cause of death is?  Take a look (the rate per 10,000 people – think LAPD sworn population – is given in parenthesis)


#10  Suicide

(1/10,000 people)  Every 40 seconds someone somewhere on this planet kills themselves and every year roughly 1 million lives are lost due to suicide.  The rate of suicide among LEOs is higher than the general population.  The suicide rate in our Department has decreased over the last few years …. but one, anytime, is too many.


#9  Kidney Disease

(2 / 10,000)  The kidneys are primarily response for clearing the body of toxins as well as managing hydration.  Kidney disease usually develops as a result of high blood pressure or diabetes, both of which can be prevented.



#8  Flu & Pneumonia

(2 / 10,000)  It is usually infants, the elderly and immune-compromised individuals who die from the flu or pneumonia.  However, ever increasing virulent strains of these viruses are developing.  A good way to reduce you and your family’s chance of getting sick is to get an annual flu vaccine; there is a vaccine available for pneumonia as well.  Consult your health care practitioner to see if these vaccines are right for you, and your family.

 #7  Diabetes


(2 / 10,000) The ability to effectively regulate your body’s sugar (glucose) level is critical for almost all body functions, especially tissue regeneration and healing.  A healthy diet is critical to preventing adult-onset diabetes.  For those who already have diabetes, a healthy diet and exercise, along with medication if necessary, can reduce the risks for premature death.


#6  Alzheimer’s Disease

(3 / 10,000) As we get older, the nerve cells in our brain naturally deteriorate.  With Alzheiimers, a type of dementia, plaques form which interfer with proper nerve function.  Growing evidence suggests that genetics, diet and how much you “exercise” your brain may play a role in the onset and of Alzheimer’s Disease.


 #5  Accidents

(4 / 10,000)  This cause covers a wide range of injuries, including automobile accidents.  Accidents are responsible for around 30 million emergency room visits each year and 100,000 deaths.


#4  Stroke

(4 / 10,000)  An estimated 130,000+ people in the U.S. die from a stroke or cerebrovascular accident.  The leading cause is high blood pressure, a condition which can be managed through diet, exercise and, if necessary, medication.  Often the first sign of high blood pressure is – a stroke.  This is why it’s critical that all adults regularly monitor their blood pressure.


 #3  Lung disease

(5 / 10,000)  Lung diseases include emphysema and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).  These conditions result in very poor ability to process oxygen which in tern causes damage to your body’s cells.  Far and above the leading culprit that causes lung disease are cigarettes. This is one (of many) reasons why BlueLIFE‘s Wellness Initiative requires you not to smoke.


#2  Cancer

(19 / 10,000)  Cancer has become so common that if you live long enough, your odds of developing some form of cancer are extremely high.  Although there are factors you can’t change, such as gender, age and genetics, a number of health behaviors influence the development of cancer.  What you eat, how much you exercise, how much exposure you have to the sun or toxins, and whether you get screened to prevent benign  growths from becoming cancerous, all play a significant role in preventing the development and spread of cancer.



 #1  Heart Disease

(19 / 10,000) One in four people will die from a heart-related condition.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.  Maintaining a healthy diet with regular exercise are two of the most important behaviors that you have control over.


If you develop and maintain healthy habits, you can significantly decrease your risk of dying from these conditions.  It is actually possible to die of old age.  Eating healthy is critical to living a long and healthy life.  Consuming fiber, fruits and vegetables, low sodium and limiting your intake of red meat and processed foods; moderate exercise and a thorough annual physical exam with regular monitoring can work wonders.  Medical science has shown that it’s never too late to develop health habits and even reverse some of these diseases.