The report by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions' National Center Statistics used data from all death certificates filed in the 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2007 -- the most recent data available.
The rankings do not necessarily denote the causes of death of greatest public health importance -- some causes of death of public health import are excluded from the ranking procedure.
For example, malignant neoplasms (cancer) of the trachea, bronchus and lung and motor vehicle accidents are not rankable causes of death.
If these causes were included in the current rankings, both would be placed among the 10 leading causes of death -- lung cancer would rank third and motor vehicle accidents would rank 10th, the report says.
Leading causes of infant death for 2007 were, in rank order: congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities; disorders related to short gestation and low birth weight; sudden infant death syndrome; newborn affected by maternal complications of pregnancy; accidents; newborn affected by complications of placenta, cord and membranes; bacterial sepsis (infection) of newborn; respiratory distress of newborn; diseases of the circulatory system and neonatal hemorrhage.