Why this is important
Chronic diseases continue to be the leading cause of death and disability in Dakota County, Minnesota, and the United States. These include costly and preventable illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. The long course of illness for some chronic diseases decreases a person’s quality of life due to activity limitations and pain. Quality of life in Dakota County is tied to the health of its residents. Individually, robust health makes people feel good physically and mentally, strengthens an optimistic outlook and extends life expectancy. Collectively, we all benefit when the residents are strong and healthy.
What the data show
Cancer and heart disease have been the leading causes of death for Dakota County residents of all ages. In 2013, cancer accounted for 142 deaths per 100,000 residents or 25% of all deaths, followed by heart disease, which is responsible for 99 deaths per 100,000 or 17.4% of all deaths. Most of these death-related diseases have seen a slight increase from last year. The leading chronic disease causes of death follow the same order in Dakota County and the state.
This table shows the actual deaths caused by these chronic diseases. In 2013, Cancer and heart disease accounted for almost one thousand deaths in Dakota County.