United States life expectancy drops, overdoses climb - govt report


Life expectancy in the United States began dropping in 2015. The number of people who died past year as a result of those causes also increased from 2016. Preliminary data released last month also said drug overdose deaths have fallen over the a year ago.

"These sobering statistics are a wake-up call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable", Dr. Robert Redfield, the CDC's director, said in a statement.

In all, 2.8 million USA residents died in the country in 2017 - 69,255 more deaths than in 2016.

Two age groups saw increases in death rates: younger adults aged between 25 and 44 years, and people over 85 years old.

Death rates for 2016 and 2017, by ethnicity and sex; drug overdose; and suicide rates for women and men.

As large as it was, that 47 percent increase was smaller than the jump between 2015 and 2016, when the number of deaths from fentanyl and its analogues more than doubled.

CDC figures showed that a total of 70,237 people died of overdoses in 2017.

The death rate from overdoses caused by synthetic opioids like fentanyl increased by 45% in one year.

The report also found that the life expectancy decline was largely due to increases in deaths from unintentional injuries, suicide, diabetes, and the flu and pneumonia. Life expectancy dropped for males from 76.2 to 76.1 but remained the same for females at 81.1. Now it's trending the other way: It fell in 2015, stayed level in 2016, and declined again previous year, the CDC said. The numbers keep climbing, contributing to a decline in the overall life expectancy rate, which began to fall in 2015 and 2017 after several decades of escalation.

"We're a developed country, we have a lot of resources, we should have increasing life expectancy, not decreasing life expectancy", he added.

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Suicides are also on the rise, and men are again more likely to be affected. While still relatively uncommon, suicides accounted for 14 deaths per 100,000 people in the US previous year.

Meanwhile, drug overdoses surpassed 70,000 in 2017, solidifying the ongoing crisis as the deadliest such epidemic in U.S. history. In 1999, by contrast, that number was around 10.5 per 100,000 people.

Indeed, the new data shows that illicit fentanyl-related deaths surged again, from 19,413 in 2016 to 28,466 in 2017. The CDC did not release state rates for suicides.

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

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).

Between 2016 and 2017, mortality rates also decreased for black women, and there was no significant change in rates for black men and Hispanic Americans.

Appleby, who overcame her own battles with mental illness, says she is a little surprised though at the national stat that shows the suicide rate is up 26% among men since 1999 but up 53% among women in that time.

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

"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", Humphreys wrote in an email.

As the United States grapples with an opioid crisis, overdoses claim more and more lives, the CDC report found.