For several years now, heart disease and cancer were the first and second leading causes of death in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed mortality data to evaluate and project the effect of risk reduction, population growth, and aging on the number of heart disease and cancer deaths to the year 2020, and released their findings in November 2016.
The CDC predicts that from 1969 through 2020, the number of heart disease deaths will decrease 21.3% among men and 13.4% among women. The number of cancer deaths will increase 91.1% among men and 101.1% among women during this time period (1969-2020).
They predict that cancer would become the leading cause of death around 2016. Since 2016 mortality data will not be available for a few more months, we will soon be able to determine if this prediction holds true. More information on the report can be found here.