Tuolumne County Profile - Community Indicators Project 2008
Tuolumne County Profile Introduction Health and Safety Education and the Arts Natural Resources and Recreation Economy and Infrastructure Appendices Conclusion Acknowledgements

Causes Of Death

Why is this important?

The causes of death in a community have an obvious impact on the quality of life by shortening potential lifespan. Perhaps less apparent is how fatal illnesses and injuries result in lost companionship, lost family income, and severe emotional and financial costs during end-of-life health care.

What is the measure?

Local and state health departments in coordination with the coroner’s office collect information about causes of death. It should be noted that "heart attack" death rates do not include deaths due to heart rhythm disturbances, heart valve disease or other heart conditions unrelated to coronary circulation.

How are we doing?

The death rates for cancer and for heart attacks decreased significantly in both Tuolumne County and California between the periods 2001-2003 and 2003-2005. While cancer deaths in Tuolumne County continued to exceed heart attack deaths, for the first time the same was true for the California population.

Tuolumne County continues to have high death rates due to unintentional injuries, many of which can be explained by elevated rates of motor vehicle accident and drug induced fatalities. However, other occupational and recreational accidents also account for this excess mortality.

The community mobilized over the past two years to address the elevated suicide rate in Tuolumne County. Identified risk factors for suicide include the rural nature of our communities and local demographics. A coordinated effort between law enforcement and the health community also recently addressed increasing rates of overdose deaths.

Source(s): California County Health Status Profiles 2004 and 2007, CA Department of Health

Tuolumne County Suicides

Tuolumne County Suicides

Source(s): Tuolumne County Coroner's Office Records, 1990-2007; http://ww2.cdph.ca.gov/programs/OHIR/Pages/CHSP.aspx

Community Indicators Project
Tuolumne County - Central Sierra Mountains