The world has considerably changed in the last century. For one thing, the mortality rate has dropped as we find suitable cures for diseases that claimed a lot of lives earlier. This chart by New England Journal of Medicine looks back at the year 1900 to see and explain how we die differently.
NEJM also has data from 1812, showing how very different the perception of medicine was 200 years ago. Apparently, doctors in 1812 took cases of spontaneous combustion of humans very seriously (as all doctors should), and also believed that a close call with a canon ball could result in injury or death, even when no contact occurred.