A new report regarding the state of health in Guilford County reveals that, just as in many other recent years, the two leading causes of death in Guilford County in were cancer, which caused 891 deaths, and heart disease ,which took the lives for 867 people in North Carolina.

Those two causes made up comprising about 35 percent of all deaths in the state.

Lung cancer was the leading type of cancer death, followed by colorectal and breast cancers.

The report that will be presented to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners later this week.

It takes about two years for the state to check and finalize official causes of death in North Carolina, so the most recent county health study is for the year 2020, which was also the year that COVID-19 hit the state.

Following a national pattern, COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in Guilford County in 2020.  That year, the disease was credited with causing 346 deaths.

In fourth place was dementia, credited with 341 deaths.

Unintentional injuries – mostly poisonings – caused 295 deaths in the county, comprised primarily of unintentional poisonings (158 of those deaths were from unintended poisonings).

Falls caused 96 deaths, while other “external” causes of death – excluding auto accidents – ranked as the next leading cause of death, followed by stroke, which killed 266 people in Guilford County in 2020.

According to the report, there were some difference in causes of death that separated males and females.

“Males had more deaths due to cancer, heart disease, unintentional injuries, chronic liver disease, Parkinson’s Disease, suicide, and homicide,” the report states.  “Females had more deaths due to dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and strokes.”

The study also found that African Americans in the county had higher “age-adjusted” death rates than whites when it came to heart disease, cancers, stroke, diabetes, and homicide – while whites had higher age-adjusted death rates due to chronic lower respiratory disease, chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and unintentional injuries.