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Perspectives in Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Premature Mortality -- United States, 1982

In this issue, Table V has been updated to show premature mortality expressed as Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL) from the first birthday to age 65 for persons who died in 1982. These new data are based on age- and cause-specific death rates for 1982 from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) (1).

From 1981 to 1982, the total YPLL for persons who died between ages 1 and 65 years decreased by 4.6% (Table 1), in contrast to a decline of 1.3% between 1980 and 1981 (2). The relative rankings of the nine causes of death included in previous versions of Table V did not change between 1981 and 1982. Accidents remained the leading cause of premature loss of life, although they underwent the largest percentage decrease in YPLL (8.5%) of any cause between the 2 years. Substantial reductions in YPLL also occurred for cerebrovascular disease (7.0%), suicide and homicide (6.4%), and chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (5.8%). Only diabetes mellitus exhibited an increase in YPLL, and this increase was small (0.3%). Since the YPLL for both 1981 and 1982 are based on preliminary NCHS mortality data, the absolute YPLL and relative differences may change slightly when final mortality statistics become available. Reported by Div of Surveillance and Epidemiologic Studies, Epidemiology Program Office, CDC.


  1. National Center for Vital Statistics, Monthly Vital Statistics Report (MVSR), 31:21-2 (October 5, 1983).

  2. CDC. Premature death -- United States. MMWR 1983;32:118-9.

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