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D.C. Warns Of Preventable Deaths

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Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable deaths in D.C., according to the district's Department of Health.
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Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable deaths in D.C., according to the district's Department of Health.

By Sabri Ben-Achour

Almost half of the causes of death in the District of Columbia are preventable, according to a new report.

The city's Department of Health released a report outlining all the preventable causes of death. The number one cause was tobacco, which accounted for 16 percent of all deaths in D.C.

Poor diet and physical inactivity came in second, causing almost as many deaths. Coming in a distant third was microbial or infectious agents.

There are only a few states that have done this type of breakdown and D.C.'s results are as a whole very similar to theirs, although some preventable causes of deaths rank slightly higher in the district: firearms, and sexual behavior for example.

Another interesting note: the health department estimates medical errors accounted for almost 3 percent of deaths in D.C.

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