Life expectancy in the U.S. continues to fall


For men, the number dropped by a 10th of a year to 76.1.

Rates have been consistently and significantly higher for males than females throughout the years, increasing from about 8 men dying of an overdose per 100,000 in 1999 to about 29 men per 100,000 in 2017.

"Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the nation's overall health and these sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable", Dr. Robert Redfield, CDC director, said in a statement Thursday.

In 2017, over 2.8 million Americans died, an increase by approximately 70,000 from the previous year and the most deaths in a single year since the U.S. government began keeping records.

Thursday's reports revealed synthetic opioid-related overdose death rates rose by 45% on average, nationwide. While that number corresponds to a 9.6% increase in the death rate, it's much smaller than the 21% jump recorded between 2015 and 2016 - perhaps a sign that the nation's substance abuse epidemic may be starting to stabilize.

"It's really the first time we've seen this multi-year drop" in decades, said Renee Gindi, chief of the Analytic Studies Branch of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nebraska, by contrast, had just 8.1 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 residents. Women generally live longer, with a life expectancy of 81.1 last year, a number that stayed flat compared with the year before. "It doesn't seem like a lot, but in terms of human cost you've got a lot of life that's not being lived". Prior to 2015, US life expectancy had not declined for several decades.

Declining life expectancy is linked to rising mortality, and 2017 saw statistically significant increases in deaths from a handful of major medical issues-stroke, Alzheimer's, and the flu, for example.

A third report found that suicide rates also continue to climb, particularly among rural Americans. It continued in 2016 and now the numbers for 2017 have been tallied and appear to follow the same downward slope.

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The figures contained in the latest CDC report are a reflection of the diseased nature of American society and the failure of the capitalist system. "Tragically, this troubling trend is largely driven by deaths from drug overdose and suicide", he said in a press release.

-A baby born last year in the expected to live about 78 years and 7 months, on average.

"Higher suicide rates in rural areas are due to almost 60 percent of rural homes having a gun, versus less than half of homes in urban areas", Stanford University psychiatry and behavioral sciences professor Keith Humphreys told the Post.

In 2017, the suicide rate for the most rural counties (20 per 100,000) outpaced that in the most urban counties (about 11 per 100,000).

The rate in drug overdoses has skyrocketed in the same period.

Data on drug overdoses shows a rapidly accelerating trend-a slower increase from 1999 until 2014, and then a skyrocketing 16 percent per year from 2014 until 2017.

"So the frustration that many of us feel is that there are things that could save many lives", he said, "and we are failing to make those services available".