For Immediate Release
November 30, 2010

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Annual Vital Statistics Summary Released

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) announces the release of the 2009 Annual Summary of Vital Statistics.

“This report serves as a baseline document that will be used to assess the health of Kansans,” said John W. Mitchell, Acting KDHE Secretary. “Two key highlights of the report show that there is a decrease in both heart disease and the infant mortality rate.”

 In 2009, a total of 290 infant deaths occurred (7.0 infant deaths per 1,000 live births), 13 less than in 2008. The age-adjusted death rate for heart disease dropped 6.3 percent from 2008 to 2009, a statistically significant decrease.  Thus for the first time in recent history, cancer passed heart disease as the leading cause of death in Kansas in 2009.

“It’s certainly too early to tell whether cancer surpassing heart disease as the leading cause  of death will become a trend, but it is an area we will continue to watch,” said Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, State Health Officer and Director of KDHE’s Division of Health. “Both causes of death have been declining in recent years, with mortality from heart disease falling faster than mortality from cancer.”

He added that “a particularly troubling public health issue in Kansas is the high infant mortality rate – despite a decline from 2007 to 2009, the rate still remains too high.”

Other highlights for 2009 include:

The annual summary, available at, contains six new tables.

Each of these new tables are made possible from information that is now collected on the birth and death certificates. The tables and charts contained in this report represent only a glimpse of the insight that can be gained from the data reported on live births, deaths, stillbirths, marriages, marriage dissolutions (divorce and annulment) and abortions recorded annually. Persons needing additional data can call 785- 296-8627.