Diseases of the heart and malignant neoplasms (all-cancers) are the leading causes of death in the United States. The gap between the two has been closing in recent years. To assess the gap status in Texas and to establish a baseline to support evaluation efforts for the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas, mortality data from 2006 to 2009 were analyzed.
Immediate cause of death data in Texas for the years 2006–2009 were analyzed and rates developed by sex, race/ethnicity, and four metropolitan counties.
Overall, for the years 2006–2009, the age-adjusted mortality rates (AARs) among Texas residents for both diseases of the heart and all-cancers decreased; however, during this time frame, there was greater improvement in diseases of the heart AARs as compared with all-cancers AARs. For the four large metropolitan counties of Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis, data were analyzed by sex and race/ethnicity, and 11 of the 12 largest percent mortality rate decreases were for diseases of the heart.
Age-adjusted mortality rates among Texas residents from diseases of the heart are showing improvement as compared with the rates for all-cancers.