Report says half of D.C. deaths preventable
D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty Tuesday released the first-ever report listing the city's top preventable causes of death.
Smoking and tobacco use sit atop the list of 11 preventable causes of death, followed by poor diet and physical inactivity that lead to obesity.
The report is part of the city's Live Well program promoting a holistic approach to health. The list was compiled from data collected in 2007.
Fenty, who joined a group of seniors Tuesday in a low-impact aerobics class near Anacostia, called the report the first of its kind for a major city. A report summary said the findings are similar to national statistics.
In 2007, there were about 5,100 deaths in the District, the report said. Most people -- 75 percent -- died from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, homicide, flu, pneumonia and chronic lower respiratory diseases.
"Half of the deaths in D.C. are preventable," said Pierre Vigilance, director of the D.C. Department of Health. "Half of people who died could have lived longer."
Other major causes of death in the District were alcohol consumption, firearms, medical errors, risky sexual behavior that leads to HIV/AIDS infection and sexually transmitted diseases, the report said.
--- Darryl Fears
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