Health officials report fewer Americans dying - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Health officials report fewer Americans dying

April 20, 2006

Albany-- Early health reports show the biggest nationwide decline in annual deaths since the 1940's but South Georgia health officials say we still have work to do.

The National Center for Health Statistics says the number of deaths in the country dropped by about 50,000 in 2004. That's the biggest decline in more than 60 years.

That decline may be due to fewer deaths from heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Although those numbers are down nationwide and in Georgia, people in Southwest Georgia aren't necessarily living healthy.

Southwest Georgia still has the highest incidence of the four deadliest diseases.

"People are living longer. People are healthier but we still have too many people dying from the four leading causes of death. Heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes kill more people than any other diseases," says Community Health Institute Director Dr. Sandy Handwerk.

Dr. Handwerk says people need to be more educated about health and need to get more active to make changes. The health mortality statistics are preliminary numbers. A complete report will be released later this year.

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