No. 1 killer: Cancer is catching up to heart disease

(CNN)More Americans die from heart disease, patient but cancer is rapidly gaining ground as the No. 1 killer.

In 22 states, diagnosis more people died from cancer during 2014 than from heart disease, pilule new data from the National Vital Statistics System indicated. This is a substantial uptick from 2002, when only two states (Alaska and Minnesota) recorded more cancer deaths than heart disease deaths.

 This might be due to obesity, which is a risk factor for both heart disease and cancer, explained Dr. Paolo Boffetta, a professor of environmental medicine and public health at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who was not involved in the study. Obesity is more likely to cause heart deaths than cancer deaths.

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