Volume 36, Issue 1 (January 1991)
Natural Death as Viewed by the Medical Examiner: A Review of 1000 Consecutive Autopsies of Individuals Dying of Natural Disease
A study of 1000 consecutive autopsies of individuals dying of natural disease was conducted. Cardiovascular disease was responsible for 60.9% of all deaths with coronary artery disease—not only the main cause of cardiovascular death but also the main cause of all natural deaths—accounting for 45.1% of such cases. Diseases of the central nervous and respiratory systems accounted for 8.7 and 8.6%, respectively, of the natural deaths. Seizure disorders and pneumonia were the main causes of death in these organ systems. There were 124 deaths of children less than one year in age, 91 which were due to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). All of the SIDS deaths were in children less than 10 months old.