Los Angeles County death rate dips 19 percent

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles County’s death rate has dropped 19 percent in a decade — greater than the national decline of 13 percent.

Health department figures released Monday say the rate of the overall leading cause of death — coronary heart disease — dipped more than a third between 2001 and 2010. There also were double-digit death-rate declines for stroke, pneumonia and lung cancer and a 50-percent drop for HIV.

Other statistics were more troubling.

Among causes of premature deaths, homicide remained in second place, followed by suicide, car crashes and liver disease.

Homicide was the leading cause of death for black and Hispanic men 15 to 44 years old and black men had the highest overall death rate.

Also, the mortality rate soared for Alzheimer’s disease, reflecting an aging population.

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