SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The record-setting coronavirus death toll in October makes the total deaths the sixth leading cause of death in the state when compared to 2018 numbers from the South Dakota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. The 2018 numbers are the most recent available from either agency.

South Dakota had 202 deaths in October and now has 425 total deaths.

The COVID-19 deaths compare to 1,796 deaths from heart disease and 1,632 deaths from cancer in 2018 which were the top two causes in 2018, according to the CDC.

The third through 10th leading causes of deaths in 2018 were: 3. Chronic lower respiratory disease, 498, 4. Accidents, 452, 5. Alzheimer’s disease, 437, 6. Stroke, 389, 7. Diabetes, 252, 8. Influenza and pneumonia, 245, 9.Chronic liver disease, 186, 10. Suicide, 167.

COVID-19 replaces stroke as the sixth leading cause of deaths in the 2018 list.

Heart disease and cancer have been the first and second leading causes of death in the state from 2014 through 2018, according to the DOH. Cancer was the leading cause in 2017, the only year it was first during that time.

A South Dakota Department of Health chart on leading causes of death from 2014-2017.

From 2014 through 2018, South Dakota’s death rate for diabetes, chronic liver disease, suicide, influenza and pneumonia and Alzheimer’s disease were higher than the national average. But, the state had a lower overall death rate than the national average as it faired better in most specific categories of cancer.

The DOH lists accidents as a death cause which would include fatal crashes.

The state had 102 fatal crashes in 2019, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety said in January.

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