One risk familiar to most agents selling health-related products is lung disease.

Asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and other chronic lung conditions are major causes of death, disability and long-term care need in their own right, and all conditions that can increase the risk that insureds will suffer other fatal or disabling conditions. 

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A major, preventable cause of lung disease is smoking.

In some areas, other contributors may be work-related exposure to materials such as asbestos or silica dust, air pollution from automobiles and factories, and naturally occurring pockets of radon gas.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention makes detailed lung mortality disease available to the public through its underlying cause of death database, which can be reached through the CDC’s WONDER search system.

We created a table for 2014 deaths from chronic lung disease among people ages 65 and older. The chronic lung disease death rate per 100,000 residents ages 65 and older ranged from a low of 169.9, in the District of Columbia, to a high of 460.2 per 100,000, with a median of about 342 per 100,000.

The death rates may be high even in some of the kinds of Midwestern states that tend to do well in U.S. state health rankings.

For a look at the 10 states in which older people were the most likely to die from chronic lung disease, along with a table that shows the data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, read on:

Pasture in Kansas

Kansas, seen here, is among the top states nationwide for lung disease deaths among older Americans. (Photo: Thinkstock) 

10. Kansas

2014 deaths from chronic lung disease: 1,705.

Chronic lung disease deaths per 100,000 residents ages 65+: 410.4.

 

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Iowa

(Image: Thinkstock) 

9. Iowa

2014 deaths from chronic lung disease: 2,030.

Chronic lung disease deaths per 100,000 residents ages 65+: 413.1.

 

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Indianapolis, seen here, is the largest city in Indiana and that state’s capital. (Photo: Thinkstock)

8. Indiana

2014 deaths from chronic lung disease: 3,907.

Chronic lung disease deaths per 100,000 residents ages 65+: 415.

 

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Missouri grain silo

North Kansas City, Mo., where these grain silos are located, is a separate municipality from Kansas City, which straddles Missori and Kansas. Both of those states made this list.  (Photo: Allison Bell/LHP)

7. Missouri

2014 deaths from chronic lung disease: 3,873.

Chronic lung disease deaths per 100,000 residents ages 65+: 415.5.

 

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Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha, Neb.(Photo: Thinkstock) 

6. Nebraska

2014 deaths from chronic lung disease: 1,140

Chronic lung disease deaths per 100,000 residents ages 65+: 420.7

 

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Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock, Ark. (Photo: Thinkstock)

5. Arkansas

2014 deaths from chronic lung disease: 1,989.

Chronic lung disease deaths per 100,000 residents ages 65+: 426.6.

 

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Wyoming

The buffalo still roam in Wyoming. (Photo: Thinkstock)

4. Wyoming

2014 deaths from chronic lung disease: 368.

Chronic lung disease deaths per 100,000 residents ages 65+: 450.8.

 

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Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Okla. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

3. Oklahoma

2014 deaths from chronic lung disease: 2,558.

Chronic lung disease deaths per 100,000 residents ages 65+: 454.7.

 

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West Virginia state seal

2. West Virginia

2014 deaths from chronic lung disease: 1,503.

Chronic lung disease deaths per 100,000 residents ages 65+: 457.4.

 

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Louisville

Louisville, Ky. (Photo: Thinkstock)

1. Kentucky

2014 deaths from chronic lung disease: 3,012.

Chronic lung disease deaths per 100,000 residents ages 65+: 460.2.

 

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50-state table 

State Deaths Crude Rate Per 100,000
Alabama  2,947 396.1
Alaska  177 255
Arizona  3,329 311.1
Arkansas  1,989 426.6
California  13,488 270.1
Colorado  2,556 375.9
Connecticut  1,702 306.2
Delaware  500 324.9
District of Columbia  127 169.9
Florida  11,352 299.4
Georgia  4,201 335.7
Hawaii  400 175.3
Idaho  833 356.9
Illinois  5,996 335.2
Indiana  3,907 415
Iowa  2,030 413.1
Kansas  1,705 410.4
Kentucky  3,012 460.2
Louisiana  2,206 348.6
Maine  921 378.2
Maryland  2,137 259.9
Massachusetts  2,965 291.8
Michigan  5,342 349.1
Minnesota  2,455 314.7
Mississippi  1,640 382.8
Missouri  3,873 415.5
Montana  678 396.1
Nebraska  1,140 420.7
Nevada  1,454 361.8
New Hampshire  720 341.1
New Jersey  3,446 262.4
New Mexico  1,096 343.7
New York  7,193 248.2
North Carolina  5,244 358.4
North Dakota  384 365.7
Ohio  6,769 376.2
Oklahoma  2,558 454.7
Oregon  1,958 308.9
Pennsylvania  7,140 334.5
Rhode Island  560 337.1
South Carolina  2,739 359.5
South Dakota  507 389.3
Tennessee  3,856 391.2
Texas  10,276 331.6
Utah  826 279.8
Vermont  318 299.4
Virginia  3,461 301.8
Washington  3,232 325.6
West Virginia  1,503 457.4
Wisconsin  3,031 346.1
Wyoming  368 450.8
Total 152,247 329.2
Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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