Methodist in the Media

Southwest Iowa Sees Higher Rates in Nation's Leading Causes of Death

Published: Sept. 6, 2022

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, with lung cancer the most prevalent, accounting for more than 20% of all cancer deaths over the past two decades. In southwest Iowa, over the same period, the rate is even higher.

Using data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1999 to 2020, The Daily Nonpareil looked at 10 southwestern Iowa counties — Cass, Crawford, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie, and Shelby — and discovered that, while many of the leading causes of death locally are nearly identical to the national list, the mortality rates for these 10 counties are higher than the national rate in almost every category.

Dr. Sumit Mukherjee, a pulmonologist at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital, said that while everyone knows that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer, it’s certainly not the only cause.

“I think the reality is that these are all really multifactorial issues,” Mukherjee said. “I mean, in addition to tobacco use, we have a high amount of environmental influences in this area.”

The Daily Nonpareil: Southwest Iowa sees higher rates in nation's leading causes of death