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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


premature death  listen  (PREE-muh-CHOOR deth)

  Death that occurs before the average age of death in a certain population. In the United States, the average age of death is about 75 years. Smoking cigarettes and being exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke are leading causes of premature death in the United States. They can increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and many other health problems. Other causes of premature death are injuries and suicide.