Teacher's Guide: Discussion Questions

Major Causes of Death in the United States and Peru

* Primarily lower respiratory infections, including pneumonia.
Sources: National Center for Health Statistics, Leading Causes of Death, 1900-1998; World Health Organization, Causes of Death and Burden of Disease Estimates by Country, 2002; and National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics Reports 55, no. 19 (August 21, 2007).

  1. What was the leading cause of death in the United States in 2004? What proportion of deaths was attributable to this cause in the United States in 1900 and in Peru in 2002?
  2. What were the leading causes of death in Peru in 2002? How does this compare to the United States in 1900 and 2004?


  1. How have life expectancies changed in more developed countries since the Roman Empire?
  2. Why are infant mortality rates over 100 in some less developed countries?


  1. Examine the columns on the World Population Data Sheet showing infant mortality and life expectancy. Find these variables for 10 countries and examine their relationship. Next, examine the relationship between the infant mortality rate, the birth rate, and GNI per capita.


  1. Consider the implications of people's health on decisionmakers in local governments.