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What is mortality?

Mortality is the number of deaths attributed to a specific condition or illness. It is often expressed as a rate, with the number of deaths over the whole population with the illness.

The most common causes of death, as concluded by mortality, include:

  • heart disease
  • unintentional injury
  • cancer
  • chronic lower respiratory diseases
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • stroke
  • influenza and pneumonia
  • diabetes
  • kidney disease
  • suicide

Why is it important to understand mortality?

Mortality rates are essential healthcare metrics because they show healthcare workers where there is the greatest need for improved care. For example, a condition with a high mortality rate requires more advanced treatments and preventative measures to reduce the number of people who die due to it.

Mortality also allows researchers to monitor the health status of a community or gauge the effectiveness of a new treatment.