The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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August 13, 2012

10 things that kill more people than sharks

(Continued)

Dogs: 16 deaths per year. Man's best friends, or Cerberus? Play too rough with pit bulls and Rottweilers — the most lethal breeds of canine — and that dog's leash could be your hangman's noose.

Skydiving: 21.2 deaths per year. You're a thrill-seeking adrenaline junky, but if your parachute fails to open, you'll go from 120 mph to zero in no time flat.

Crushed by television or furniture: 26.64 deaths per year. As I've noted, this is a bigger killer of Americans than terrorism, which led to a Colbert Report "Threat Down" warning against the perils of "terrorist furniture."

Noncommunicable diseases: 2,200,000 deaths per year. The risk factors of smoking, poor diet, lack of physical activity and alcohol kill 87 percent of Americans prematurely. So get off the couch, and turn off Shark Week. Better yet, go for a swim.

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Zenko is a fellow with the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations. He writes the blog Politics, Power and Preventive Action.

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