The Centers for Disease Control has published a map showing the most distinctive causes of death by state, 2001-2010.
“A word of caution: the map does not show the main cause of death by state, which is basically heart disease or cancer. What it shows is the cause of death in each state that stands out most relative to its national average. Syphillis is the most distinctive cause of death in Louisiana, but it only resulted in 22 deaths there over that time period. HIV, the most distinctive cause of death in Florida, was behind 15,000 deaths there. The coding of deaths is also ‘highly variable’ by state, meaning some capture in ‘other’categories may be more properly classified elsewhere.” (Source: WashingtonPost.com)
One impression at first glance is that there is such diversity among the states.
“Some of the findings make intuitive sense (influenza in some northern states, pneumoconioses in coal-mining states, air and water accidents in Alaska and Idaho), while the explanations for others are less immediately apparent (septicemia in New Jersey, deaths by legal intervention in 3 Western states).”
Two states list causes of death related to firearms. “Accidental discharge of firearms” is the most distinctive cause of death in Alabama. “Discharge of firearms, undetermined intent,” is the most distinctive cause in Arizona.