Of these, 525,000 are a first heart attack and 210,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack. 2; Heart Disease Deaths Vary by Race and Ethnicity. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most ethnicities in the United States, including African Americans, Hispanics, and whites.
Chronic lower respiratory disease, primarily COPD, was the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2014. 2 Almost 15.7 million Americans (6.4%) reported that they have been diagnosed with COPD. 3 More than 50% of adults with low pulmonary function were not aware that they had COPD, 4 so the actual number may be higher.
Alzheimer's as One of the Top Causes of Death. The Alzheimer's Association notes that Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. It also points out that out of the top ten causes of death, it's the only one without an effective treatment or cure.