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Leading Causes of Death
Los Angeles County

By Year, 2012-2021

Image of Heart

Image by Sbtlneet via Pixabay.com



In order to compare "apples to apples" in collecting and coding cause-of-death data, categories used by the California Department of Public Health, reflected in the tables below, are defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as "the disease or injury which initiated the train of events leading directly to death, or the circumstances of the accident or violence which produced the fatal injury." The categories seen here reflect only the 14 leading causes of death during any year. What is not specifically reflected among the categories here is the enormous and tragic loss of life to COVID-19. During 2020, Los Angeles County suffered 10,345 deaths related to COVID-19. In 2021, the county saw an even greater loss - 17,292 COVID-19 deaths. Numerically, that would have ranked COVID-19, in 2021, as the county's leading cause of death, dethroning heart disease from its long reign as Los Angeles County's most persistant killer.

Leading Causes of Death, Ranked by Year - 2017-2021

Number of Deaths. Percentage in parentheses reflect numerical increase (+) or decrease (-) for that cause-of-death over previous year.

Rank 2021 (Preliminary) 2020 2019 2018 2017
All Causes All causes
83,300 (+0.6%)
All causes
82,816 (+26.6%)
All causes
65,404 (+0.2%)
All causes
65,241 (+0.4%)
All causes
64,990 (+1.2%)
#1 Diseases of heart
17,146 (-7.2%)
Diseases of heart
18,467 (+9.6%)
Diseases of heart
16,846 (-1.1%)
Diseases of heart
17,027 (+1.0%)
Diseases of heart
16,852 (+1.1%)
#2 Malignant neoplasms (cancer)
14,479 (-2.8%)
Malignant neoplasms (cancer)
14,889 (-0.1%)
Malignant neoplasms (cancer)
14,911 (-0.8%)
Malignant neoplasms (cancer)
15,033 (+0.2%)
Malignant neoplasms (cancer)
15,001 (+0.9%)
#3 Alzheimer's disease
4,572 (-7.6%)
Alzheimer's disease
4,947 (+12.5%)
Alzheimer's disease
4,396 (+8.4%)
Alzheimer's disease
4,054 (-3.2%)
Alzheimer's disease
4,186 (+5.0%)
#4 Accidents (+unintentional injuries)
4,016 (-0.8%)
Accidents (+unintentional injuries)
4,048 (+6.6%)
Cerebrovascular diseases
3,796 (+1.9%)
Cerebrovascular diseases
3,725 (+0.0%)
Cerebrovascular diseases
3,726 (+1.0%)
#5 Cerebrovascular diseases
4,001 (-0.9%)
Cerebrovascular diseases
4,039 (+32.7%)
Accidents (+unintentional injuries)
3,044 (-2.1%)
Chronic lower respiratory diseases
3,109 (-0.6%)
Chronic lower respiratory diseases
3,129 (-1.6%)
#6 Diabetes mellitus
3,506 (-2.3%)
Diabetes mellitus
3,587 (+19.8%)
Diabetes mellitus
2,995 (+9.6%)
Diabetes mellitus
2,732 (+1.8%)
Diabetes mellitus
2,684 (+1.8%)
#7 Chronic lower respiratory diseases
2,602 (-13.1%)
Chronic lower respiratory diseases
2,995 (+0.6%)
Chronic lower respiratory diseases
2,978 (+10.1%)
Accidents (+unintentional injuries)
2,704 (+2.6%)
Accidents (+unintentional injuries)
2,636 (+3.3%)
#8 Chronic liver disease & cirrhosis
1,958 (-11.2%)
Influenza & pneumonia
2,206 (+19.8%)
Influenza & pneumonia
1,841 (-17.4%)
Influenza & pneumonia
2,228 (+10.6%)
Influenza & pneumonia
2,015 (-5.6%)
#9 Essential hypertension & hypertensive renal disease
1,838 (+3.8%)
Essential hypertension & hypertensive renal disease
1,770 (+14.6%)
Essential hypertension & hypertensive renal disease
1,545 (+1.7%)
Chronic liver disease & cirrhosis
1,519 (+2.1%)
Chronic liver disease & cirrhosis
1,488 (-2.0%)
#10 Influenza & pneumonia
1,769 (+3.9%)
Chronic liver disease & cirrhosis
1,703 (+14.3%)
Chronic liver disease & cirrhosis
1,490 (-0.8%)
Essential hypertension & hypertensive renal disease
1,502 (+4.2%)
Essential hypertension & hypertensive renal disease
1,441 (+9.6%)
#11 Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome & nephrosis
1,571 (+1.5%)
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome & nephrosis
1,548 (+13.7%)
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome & nephrosis
1,361 (-0.9%)
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome & nephrosis
1,373 (-0.1%)
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome & nephrosis
1,374 (+15.8%)
#12 Parkinson's disease
892 (-8.2%)
Parkinson's disease
972 (+12.4%)
Parkinson's disease
865 (-11.8%)
Intentional self-harm (+suicide)
981 (+8.4%)
Intentional self-harm (+suicide)
905 (+7.9%)
#13 Assault (+homicide)
868 (+0.6%)
Intentional self-harm (+suicide)
863 (-0.1%)
Intentional self-harm (+suicide)
864 (+8.7%)
Parkinson's disease
795 (-0.9%)
Parkinson's disease
802 (+20.1%)
#14 Intentional self-harm (+suicide)
794 (+9.5%)
Assault (+homicide)
725 (+33.5%)
Assault (+homicide)
543 (-14.1%)
Assault (+homicide)
632 (+1.3%)
Assault (+homicide)
624 (-5.7%)

Source: California Department of Public Health

Leading Causes of Death, Ranked by Year - 2012-2016

Number of Deaths. Percentage in parentheses reflect numerical increase (+) or decrease (-) for that cause-of-death over previous year.

Rank 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
All Causes All causes
64,199 (+1.1%)
All causes
63,502 (+6.5%)
All causes
59,608 (-0.3%)
All causes
59,764 (+2.0%)
All causes
58,592 (+0.9%)
#1 Diseases of heart
16,669 (+0.2%)
Diseases of heart
16,630 (+6.2%)
Diseases of heart
15,658 (-3.1%)
Diseases of heart
16,167 (+2.2%)
Diseases of heart
15,814 (-2.5%)
#2 Malignant neoplasms (cancer)
14,864 (-0.4%)
Malignant neoplasms (cancer)
14,926 (+2.2%)
Malignant neoplasms (cancer)
14,610 (+5.2%)
Malignant neoplasms (cancer)
13,888 (-1.9%)
Malignant neoplasms (cancer)
14,164 (+1.6%)
#3 Alzheimer's disease
3,988 (+4.8%)
Alzheimer's disease
3,806 (+18.3%)
Cerebrovascular diseases
3,218 (-2.7%)
Cerebrovascular diseases
3,307 (-1.7%)
Cerebrovascular diseases
3,363 (+3.2%)
#4 Cerebrovascular diseases
3,689 (+0.5%)
Cerebrovascular diseases
3,672 (+29.5%)
Alzheimer's disease
2,835 (-5.1%)
Chronic lower respiratory diseases
2,988 (+8.4%)
Chronic lower respiratory diseases
2,757 (-8.6%)
#5 Chronic lower respiratory diseases
3,179 (+4.6%)
Chronic lower respiratory diseases
3,039 (+7.5%)
Chronic lower respiratory diseases
2,828 (+9.7%)
Alzheimer's disease
2,579 (+4.1%)
Alzheimer's disease
2,478 (+5.6%)
#6 Accidents (+unintentional injuries)
2,636 (+8.3%)
Diabetes mellitus
2,435 (+5.3%)
Diabetes mellitus
2,312 (+2.0%)
Influenza & pneumonia
2,266 (+2.9%)
Diabetes mellitus
2,203 (+0.4%)
#7 Diabetes mellitus
2,553 (+4.9%)
Accidents (+unintentional injuries)
2,434 (+7.2%)
Accidents (+unintentional injuries)
2,270 (+3.3%)
Accidents (+unintentional injuries)
2,198 (+7.0%)
Accidents (+unintentional injuries)
2,054 (-0.4%)
#8 Influenza & pneumonia
2,135 (-1.2%)
Influenza & pneumonia
2,160 (+3.0%)
Influenza & pneumonia
2,098 (-3.5%)
Diabetes mellitus
2,173 (+6.1%)
Influenza & pneumonia
2,048 (+10.3%)
#9 Chronic liver disease & cirrhosis
1,519 (-6.8%)
Chronic liver disease & cirrhosis
1,630 (+16.3%)
Chronic liver disease & cirrhosis
1,401 (+6.1%)
Chronic liver disease & cirrhosis
1,320 (+3.5%)
Chronic liver disease & cirrhosis
1,275 (+2.0%)
#10 Essential hypertension & hypertensive renal disease
1,315 (-1.9%)
Essential hypertension & hypertensive renal disease
1,341 (+14.8%)
Essential hypertension & hypertensive renal disease
1,168 (-2.5%)
Essential hypertension & hypertensive renal disease
1,198 (-3.7%)
Essential hypertension & hypertensive renal disease
1,244 (+17.8%)
#11 Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome & nephrosis
1,187 (-6.1%)
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome & nephrosis
1,264 (+24.8%)
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome & nephrosis
1,013 (+8.5%)
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome & nephrosis
934 (+4.9%)
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome & nephrosis
890 (+3.5%)
#12 Intentional self-harm (+suicide)
839 (-0.1%)
Intentional self-harm (+suicide)
840 (+4.3%)
Intentional self-harm (+suicide)
805 (+2.0%)
Intentional self-harm (+suicide)
789 (+4.0%)
Intentional self-harm (+suicide)
759 (-1.2%)
#13 Assault (+homicide)
668 (+0.0%)
Parkinson's disease
668 (+12.5%)
Parkinson's disease
594 (+1.4%)
Assault (+homicide)
586 (-2.0%)
Assault (+homicide)
598 (-2.1%)
#14 Parkinson's disease
662 (+4.1%)
Assault (+homicide)
636 (+16.3%)
Assault (+homicide)
547 (-1.1%)
Parkinson's disease
553 (+8.9%)
Parkinson's disease
508 (-5.0%)

Source: California Department of Public Health