Measures of Mortality


Leading Causes of Death

The leading cause of death rankings present the most frequently occurring causes of death in San Diego County. These measures show the relative burden of a specific cause of death compared to other causes. Rankings vary by geography, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and even vary over time.


2019 Leading Causes

While diseases of the heart, commonly known as heart disease, holds the spot as the #1 leading cause of death in the United States and in the state of California, Cancer continues to be the leading cause of death in San Diego County.



Leading Causes of Death Workbook: This workbook presents the leading causes of death in alphabetical order. Each tab represents one condition and displays the cases and rates of deaths by age, race/ethnicity, and gender by each geography.  

LCOD Workbook
LCOD 2016 Ranking
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Life Expectancy



Life Expectancy in San Diego County, 2010-2021

Life expectancy is one of the Top 10 Indicators measured for the County of San Diego’s Live Well San Diego vision for healthier, safer, and thriving communities. This measure is a widely used indicator for the capability to live a long and healthy life and reflects the overall mortality of a population. This document includes life expectancy by gender, race/ethnicity, geography, and overall for San Diego County.


LE Info
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Smoking Attributable Mortality

The Smoking Attributable Mortality tables estimate the number of San Diego County residents who died due to smoking. The tables display the five-year average deaths, attributable fractions, and the estimated smoking attributable mortality for San Diego County and each of the Health and Human Services Agency Regions. Five-year average of deaths were calculated for certain diseases or conditions where there is evidence of a relationship between the disease or condition and smoking or secondhand smoking.2  Attributable fractions are the proportions of a specific disease or condition that would be attributable to smoking and come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Smoking Attributable Mortality, Morbidity, and Economic Costs System.3 The estimated smoking attributable mortality was calculated by multiplying the attributable fraction by the five-year average of deaths due to a disease or condition.   


1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2020 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released in 2020. Data are from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2020, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Accessed at on Aug 11, 2022 01:48:12 PM.

2U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking-50 Years of Progress (2014). The Health Consequences of Smoking - 50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General (

3Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Smoking‐Attributable Mortality, Morbidity, and Economic Costs (SAMMEC) System (2014).

4California Department of Public Health, Center for Health Statistics, Office of Health Information and Research, Vital Records Busines Intelligence System, 2020.