In 2009, cancer claimed the lives of 17,476 people. Heart disease was responsible for 17,133 deaths.
"Cancer and heart disease have consistently ranked highest in their toll on the people of North Carolina," State Health Director Jeff Engel explained in a statement. "For the most part, these are preventable diseases, so we must continue to educate our citizens about lifestyle changes they can make to stay healthier."
The most deadly cancers were lung and throat cancer, colorectal cancer and breast cancer. More men than woman died of cancer and heart disease remains the top killer among women.
For tips on cancer prevention, visit http://nccancer.com/
For more information on the leading causes of death in North Carolina as well as specific breakdowns of top killers by age group, visit the State Center for Health Statistics website.
For tips on heart disease prevention, visit http://www.startwithyourheart.com/